Filed under: Uncategorized — trinque @ 9:50 p.m.

Since MP's adnotation of another of TLP's American quackery apologetics, I've been reaching back into the gap spanning my twentieth year. The period before is easy to recall; the period after idem. In between there are just fragments.1 Nevertheless...

I was in college when a brief lifetime of continuous anger began showing signs of wear. A friend's grandfather had a saying: nature extends a lot of credit, but never forgets to send the bill. Lived experience confirms. Phenomena receded down a black corridor; meanwhile sleep became more lucid, less restful.2

I visited a pastor of a local McChurch. My tirade against the suburban gods riles him up, and he throws me out of his office sputtering "I just don't think I can help you."3 Later I play pool with a couple of other corpses; we bare our teeth at each other and smoke cigarettes.

A few days elapse and Donnie Darko's showing at the campus theater. There's a pointless sci-fi element, but the film has some merit as the picture of a young man in the post-meaning American suburbs.4 Naturally he's medicated, he starts burning things down, and his life ends as though he was never there. It was true, and it shook me up. I threw what I felt like keeping in an old beater Z and left Texas.

The period before my return is uninteresting. Let's imagine a young derp bumming around on the beach importantly with an acoustic and a notebook like it meant something,5 and then let's move on.

I returned to the Texan suburbs to join a software startup. It was a constructive first-hand experience of entrepreneurial failure-modes deserving of its own post. A bunch of hipster derps failed to listen to each other and a couple million dollars were burned with little to show for it. Meanwhile there was still insomnia and disquiet, and I went to see a doctor. There's always the same color-palette in these rooms; desaturated blues indeed. At first he's the one of the corpses from the pool table. They were holding; he's holding. He prescribes sertraline, and it's worth a few months of giggles, confusion,6 and callous detachment. I don't recall the specifics, and I still wasn't sleeping much.

At a follow-up visit with the doctor, I erupt. He's the pastor, and I'm the devil.7 He quietly listens, bares his teeth, and says that he understands my frustration. Would I be willing to try something else? "Sure, whatever, only I'd better sleep." He prescribes quetiapine for insomnia off-label, and he has me stack it on top of the sertraline. The subjective experience of it is a reduction of the frame-rate of being. It works in that whatever ailed you ails more slowly. Will is nonexistent, relationships devolve, identity evaporates, and decision-making becomes arbitrary. Every now and again the sertraline pops through with a bit of mania.

While nobody was home I built up a little network of idiots with which to play substance abuse. The details are again uninteresting, or at least barely able to be recalled. There's a flash of broken glass here, a speedometer pegged there, a swing of a fist, all swirling in the pointless quetiapine fog.

At some point I pick up a gun and regard it. There's a distant memory that the object should have gravity, a flash of a fatherly lecture8 on the seriousness of the tool. In this moment it's a pointless object in my pointless hand, and suddenly I have what with to measure the extent of my descent. It shows me the way back. I abandon the band of idiots, quit my job,9 and lock myself in my apartment.

Down the can go the pills. The next day shit's getting weird. Vomiting, anxiety... what to call it... cognitive disjunction. Weird movement at the periphery of my vision. The apartment is an unintelligible mundane hell where everything's about to happen to you and nothing does. I haven't any idea how long I spent in this state. Months later I'm walking on a pier and the sun is intolerably bright. The light sensitivity, migraines and other effects last for a long time, months or years. It's entirely possible they were indicative of brain damage.

There's no moral in any of this. I'm not blaming the doctor for poisoning me; he knew what I was there for, and he gave it to me. Years later I went to a different doctor, demanded a blood test, and finally surfaced a significant vitamin D deficiency. A few drops a day cured just about everything.10

What kind of creature has a brain this size and no idea how to maintain itself? Ask yourself that as your surroundings become less intelligible, and your identity dissolves. As for me, I'm out.

  1. And I find it deeply uncomfortable to relate on those grounds. []
  2. The kids longing for the goo-tube are what, too cowardly to go crazy properly? []
  3. In retrospect I'm rather proud of this result, and at any rate fortunate. More young men should get themselves thrown out of churches. []
  4. At least to a post-meaning young man in the same. []
  5. Maaaaan. []
  6. Bad sex! []
  7. Ever notice how the devil asks permission of God to torment Job? []
  8. From a guy with a double-digit count. []
  9. I had managed to stack up enough savings to coast for a bit. []
  10. Except being an asshole! []