OK, I’m not writing a novel. I tried writing a novel once when a Good Samaritan stepped in and told me it was the worst thing he’d ever read. Which it was. So I write non-fiction. Or try, when the epilepsy doesn’t object.
For a couple weeks now I’ve been pushing myself with the writing, seeing what I can do without setting off my epilepsy. There’s been no fuzziness, no numbness in the limbs, very little stuttering and speech problems, no confusion, none of all the symptoms that make me everyone’s quirky special friend. I’m almost as dull as regular people.
But yesterday I stepped outside and the world was gorgeously two dimensional. The colors were vivid, even at dusk, the perspective flat. It looked like a Van Gogh painting, tho’ I suppose only an epileptic can see the epilepsy in a Van Gogh painting. Tonight it was even more vivid. I really can’t explain how beautiful it is, tho’ LSD has a similar effect. But it’s not a good sign. That Van Gogh effect is an epileptic aura, a prelude of the fun to come if I don’t cool it with all the renewed writing. I hadn’t had an aura since I stopped writing last year. Start up again and now I’ve got Vincent Van Gogh eyes.
Experiment over, I will follow my pal Kirk Silsbee’s admonition and take it slow, take it slow. I think in be bop, but I’ll have to write like a cool Stan Getz, if that makes any sense.
So this’ll be the last essay for a while. Now just jokes and insults and the occasional brief whining.
Anyway, a poet once said:
this was where Ray-
mundo Chandler drunk
and wrote and thunk
he oughta write some more.
Had the brilliant idea of taking the nighttime dose of my seizure drugs earlier and it’s totally messed up my sleep cycle. Apparently when you hit sixty your body rejects any change just out of spite. Get off my lawn, it’s yelling at me. Probably a Trump supporter, too.
Anyway, going to bed again. I think it just woke me up to watch Fox And Friends.
A pair of very dear friends, unbeknownst to each other, both pressed on me the idea that these little Facebook and Twitter utterances of mine ought to be preserved. So, after lots of hesitation, I scoured my social media postings for things that qualify as pieces and transferred them to my blog and posterity. Dozens of them. All day long into the night. That was the first writerly thing I’ve done since the grocery freak-outs of this past early Autumn. And tonite, yinging my writer’s yang, I feel thoroughly epileptic. A big spazz. I hate it. It’s been months. Lesson learned: I can still write, but it in little dollops and forgotten again. Fuck this writer shit, I prefer being functional, without the feeling–and you can feel it–of neurons afire with way too much electrochemical energy, whirring and buzzing and snapping. To think I used to tap into this, making myself just epileptic enough to get into the spazzy groove. I used to dig that. The epileptic muse. Now it’s a drag. And if I keep writing this, it’ll just get worse. Creativity can be some weird shit.
Napped. I hate napping. I wake up nauseous. Some fucked up epilepsy annoyance. Not actually nauseous, either. If I accidentally dozed off before dinner I learned to eat nauseated knowing it was just a neurological illusion. Anyway, here comes dinner.
Too much writing on Facebook and my mind is gelatinous trying to work this new smartphone. The air drifts about listlessly in the fan stream like it died days ago and is just waiting to be buried. To be reduced to ashes and scattered in the wind. But there is no wind. Somewhere there are breezes and rumors of breezes. Here there is just stale air and mental fog. The smart phone twitches. My massive digits manuever like elephants across the keyboard, creating a new language of typos. I don’t need any of this stuff. Outside is a whole universe, I can see it out the window. Here are just apps, meaningless, useless apps. I touch one, it lets out an irritating finch like tweep and asks me an inane question. There is no fuck you button. The fog settles in, the fingers go numb and the view out the window is suddenly Van Gogh, and I stop typing to watch it in epileptic silence.
Not being able to write anymore is so strange. Stories still unreel in my head continuously, as always, sentences piling atop one another, everything I hear and see and touch turning into words, but when I put my fingers to the keys I can’t write more than a sentence or two or three before the fog rolls in, and the numbness, and the rumble of electric storms in the background. It’s like having a head full of music and no hands. A bebop of words trapped in my skull. I sit at my desk, surrounded by reference books and notes and ideas, and I stare at them like the ruins of some dead civilization, my own personal civilization, gone forever. The epileptic fog rolls in, the mind slows, and I retreat to the couch in a haze and stare.
Man, writing is triggering epilepsy now. This is just perfect. Not rolling around the carpet epilepsy, but the slow smoldering kind that if left unchecked begins send electro-chemical sparks in all directions, till eventually the brain looks like southern California on a Santa Ana weekend, brushfires everywhere. Even comments in Facebook are a problem if they go beyond just a couple words. And posts like this, sheesh. I think I have only blogged once in two weeks, maybe twice. Afraid to push my brain into a sizzling overload, memories and skills and personality shorting out. Been there. It can go on for months.
Really intense writing has always been a trigger, and I use to play around with my meds to keep the muse going–but suddenly this month it is any writing at all. And when I go without writing, I can feel the epilepsy fade to normal background levels. The problem is that once things become triggers, they rarely untrigger. You spend your epileptic life removing and avoiding the things that set you off. I always figured writing would go eventually, as the hole in my brain–the focus, in the parlance–is in the frontal lobe near where writing is handled. Writing, language, etc. Eventually the dinged neurons in the focal point would become over sensitized. Seizure activity spreads from there up into the temporal lobe where all the fun stuff is.
Yeah, I can feel the symptoms, symptoms like storm clouds on the horizon, just from writing this. I guess it’s time to hang up my writing shoes.