Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LIGHTWEIGHT

The scanner crackled to life around 5 this morning with a call for a medical assist. A man was seeing things: people dressed in costumes outside his house, climbing trees and ignoring him when he tried to talk with them. The dispatcher said the man wasn't making much sense, "but be advised he says he's been up for the past 24 hours and he may be delusional."

I scoffed. Delusional after 24 hours? In the history of my world that's simply a good stretch of conscious life, nothing worthy of alarm — and certainly not enough time without sleep to trigger hallucinations. Staying up four, five days at a clip without sleep: that's when the delicious delusions begin, when still photos come to life and objects in the mirror are not only much closer than they appear, they're doing all kinds of wonderfully strange shit.

Or at least that's the way I used to think. But now it kind of scares the hell out of me. In the week before May 5 I was living a mad-crazy existence. Just two days before the stroke I scribbled a note:
Since last Friday: 152 hours of life, 8 hours of sleep. I would say I need my beauty sleep, but for some there is no hope.
The doctors don't think the lack of sleep triggered the CVA, but as one of them said in a marvelous bit of understatement, "I don't think it helped."

It wasn't like I was trying to dodge sleep — there was just a lot going on and I couldn't unplug the power to the attic. I finally had to swallow a handful of sedatives to knock myself into a coma, and when I woke up it was with a grudging acknowledgement that this couldn't be good for my body.

The day before It happened the Beastie Boys announced the death of Adam Yauch and I typed:
What Adam Yauch's death means:
- Life's way too fucking short to waste it on bullshit pettiness and jealousy.
- It can all come crashing down when you least expect it, so why worry about what may or may not happen next week, next month, next year?
- Live for right now. Party, have fun, laugh, enjoy the people sitting next to you. They could vanish with the morning light.
- You stick around, I'll make it worth your while.
I didn't vanish, but part of me died on May 5. I'd like to think it was the bad part, the jerk-store part, but only time will tell. Until then, I plan to enjoy the people sitting next to me, both literally and figuratively, because I really don't know when it will all come crashing down — for me or for the people I love.

I stuck around. I hope to make it worth your while.

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