Insomnia Files: Salad Days

Sleepless nights morph into hours of cycling thoughts, an endless refrain. The best thing to do is, firstly, get a grip on yourself, man! Next: write down your machine-gun fire of thoughts in a supine stream of semi-cognizance until the absurdity of it all lulls you into a slumber, or at least into a fit of intoxication. Warning: this might be worse than having to hear about someone else’s dreams.


October second, dos double-oh dos

I woke up in the pre-dawn morning to a choir of garbage men yelling “Motherfucker!” My sensory deprivation techniques only partially blocked them out … just enough to be able to sleep, although the voices mingled with the dreams. My respite was rich, if not long enough. Still. However.

I check the box and the long lost mail has finally arrived. The pith-jockey really cracked the whip on the ol’ beast of burden and two full weeks later … huzzah! The structure of civilization has not yet completely crumbled.


Now I’m lounging on the swami bed, opium swirls pumping around me, searching for an open lung. Pretending to be busy, persuading myself to be sleepy. Peanut butter. A bad pilsner (Dutch, see?) left a bad taste. Or perhaps a good one created a bad memory.

I had a good and strange day. My antennae are reaching and twitching, finding more each day. Self-imposed discomforts feel fantastic in the face of adventure. Something new is at least something. I’ll pick the best looking cashier, because he’s smiling, and the attractive ones always move the line faster, male or female. I need conversation like insect larvae need fruit. Asking the thrift store guy if he gets sick of listening to ’80s music all day was the highlight of my human verbal interaction today. We jived a bit, but my Ben Franklin shut him up and that was that.


Fully stocked fridge.

One thing I love about my current situation in life, and others may disagree according to taste, opinion, and upbringing, is that I’m not married and I don’t have kids. I don’t have to provide for any other person or thing right now. And as far as right now right now, that’s a very good thing. With a few extra dollars to spend on food today, I bought a bag of frozen blackberries *[see marginalized notes]. In my fridge, all I have are a bottle of vodka and flavored “aroma” condoms. It feels good to strip away unneeded responsibility, the clutter and worry of a certain lifestyle. It’s so freeing. Freedom in almost every way. Identity renewal.


*FDA’s unacceptable contamination levels: Berries, canned and frozen: average mold count is 60 percent or more, average of 4 or more larvae per 500 grams, average of 10 or more whole insects or equivalent per 500 grams.

I often ask questions that I can’t answer myself, almost like people who give advice they can’t follow. If I ever ask you for your favorite word, it’s because the question tortures me every day. I was sure that your answer would not feature sound or meaning alone, but a happy wedding of the two. There are beautiful words that have repellant meanings, like melanoma, catheter, or diarrhea. Great syllabic beauty, but … I like knucklehead and  galore quite a bit. Lascivious used to be my least favorite word when I was 17, but now it might be climbing the charts.

I think, for this moment in time, which is subject to change at any moment, I would choose salad. My reasons: 1) The property: the greenness and coolness, in allusion to youth, metaphorically, that the blood is still cool and judgment unripe.

2) Etymology: The word salad, I find, is related to salt, sausage, and silt. Fifteenth century old and modern French. In Vulgar Latin it means “salted” — short for herba salata “salted vegetables.” Now my attraction to the word is making all kinds of sense! Sausage, salt, and salad are my three main food groups (after blackberries and vodka, apparently). 3) The subject: a cool, raw, vegetable-laden delight. And those vegetables should be heavily salted if you know what’s good for you. 4) The sound: the pronunciation of the word is inherently familiar–you’ve heard it and used it your whole life. But what should happen if all of a sudden you speak the word and you are corrected, that it’s actually “samad” and you’ve been saying it wrong your whole life? Psychological freakout, bordering on existential disaster. 5) The slang definitions: Urban Dictionary has dozens of random meanings attached to the word, the best one being simply “a polite way of saying sex.” Tossed salad, anyone? And finally, 6) The spelling: I love S’s, to write and speak in sibilance, and the rest of the word is almost a palindrome, yet has a firm close to the end. There it is.

I think I’ll try to surrender all conscious functions to the gods of slumber now … we’ll see.




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