Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Words Tumbled Out

The time has come.

Like spring-loaded snakes in a pistachio can, the Spiral Reverie musings launch onto that glorious, glorious information superhighway. Or at least, what those poor fools once thought it might amount to before pornography and empty promises of free consumer goods choked the old series of tubes to its demise. Its saving grace? Cat macros. Don't agree? Go huff some paint, or stick some marbles up your nose, then we'll talk.


One's cue to reference Shakespeare. In my case, I'd settle for a less dreaming and more pure, blank slumber. Following my attendance of a local Japanese animation convention in late May, Animazement, illness hit me over the back of the head with a shovel. Again. Not a recommended experience.

Recovery dragged its feet, but eventually caught up after receiving anonymous threats of brutal violence. I don't know where they came from. Perhaps we'll never know. Perhaps, even, these threats are simply the forces of nature speaking directly to one's distorted circadian rhythms in the only way it knows how - through excessive profanity, vodka, and finger puppet theater. Alas, we mere mortals may never be able to understand these forces of nature and their mysterious ways, but one thing's for certain - they need a new therapist or I'm calling the cops. Regardless, these aforementioned threats certainly weren't an inane attempt at comedy concocted by my imagination when trying to write a compelling opening entry in an online blog through which I am pursuing my ambitions, nosirree. Knowing that, you can rest easy.

Suffice to say, fortune has a way of playing pranks on me, many of which, I am not too fond of. As such, just as I was celebrating the return of my health, fortune pulled that normal-sleep rug out from beneath my feet. Like something out of a bad sci-fi flick, a convenient barrier appeared around my brain, which repelled all sleep signals. Following a proper classic sci-fi narrative, I would have to enter Jedi training, which entails learning to levitate boxes, waving around a flashlight, and developing an incredibly dull personality for the prequel trilogy. If you're really good, you get to turn evil, then chuck the old guy you answer to off a balcony while your forces are easily defeated by little bears in a forest. Not exactly a swank occupation.

Of course, seeing as nobody's developing these convenient special powers in reality yet, rather than follow the path of the Jedi, I was left with the only real option the sleep-deprived have to turn to - drugs. Naturally, this is the part of the blog entry where it all starts to come together with the simple epiphany: "This guy's gotta be a crackhead!" Sorry to disappoint you, but this is one aspiring author who does no hard drugs. And in fact, no drugs at all. So I lied to you before. Disillusionment sets in. You begin to question everything you know. If you can't trust this weirdo on the internet, who can you trust? Certainly not the government. And the fiber optic cables are buzzing with the suggestion that librarians may, in fact, be hiding something. While you ponder this, I'll continue my train of thought.

Sleep aid-oriented dietary supplements - do they work!? Having been on them for the better part of a month now, I couldn't really tell you. At best, they seem to make my mind fuzzy. At worst, they seem to impede sleep entirely with the odd feelings they produce. Neither flips my brain's power switch into the "off" position. At nearly a month of out of control insomnia - which is much worse than a more pleasant controlled insomnia - frustration has begun to set in.

First off, there's Valerian Root, which both smells and tastes terrible for the split second the capsule rests on your tongue. Having not taken it on its own before, it's hard to say what it does beyond simply make me tired. Side effects include depression and apathy. Roughly status quo for myself, but I find myself wondering if the downturns in my trains of thought when trying to sleep aren't partially to be blamed on the root. Not to mention, getting out of bed is even more difficult, whether I slept or not. I also seem to be sprouting a pair of antlers on top of my skull. I'm beginning to suspect there's witchcraft and trickery involved those bastards behind the product have opted to leave off the label. I, for one, have no interest in becoming some sort of freakish half-elk/half-human man-beast. Given that this is the internet, there are doubtlessly individuals who have a fetish for these sorts of monsters, and these people will find this entry and be disappointed by its utter lack of detailed erotic fiction involving weird animal-human hybrids and possibly Mr. Spock. But Leonard Nimoy would not approve, and neither do I! For shame, websurfer, for shame, I say! Seek help. And also buy my book when it's released.

Then there's Melatonin, a natural chemical produced by the brain to help you sleep in the dark. And personally, I think a concussion would be a more effective sleep aid, though I keep taking it. Sure, it makes you a little groggy, but it still doesn't push you into sleep territory. It's a feeling I prefer to liken to the experience of being General Custer at his last stand. Except you want the natives to kill you, but no matter what you do, they won't, the jerks. The major side effect of Melatonin? Freakish, vivid dreams in the off-chance you actually manage to get some sleep. The kind of dreams that ensure you won't feel rested when you wake up. Par example, just a few days ago, I dreamed I was stuck in one of the Castlevania video games I was playing in the previous week. I was perfectly aware that I was stuck in a video game setting the entire time. Even the reality of the dream itself was rendered as in the game. An odd enough experience, as despite being an avid gamer geek, I rarely hit that sad level where I dream of video games. But the undead just kept sneaking up behind me. It was a futile exercise, and when I woke up, I felt in no way rested. Melatonin strikes me as not worth its side effects, and seems as though it would make sleep even more difficult to achieve if taken for a longer period of time.

The sleep I relish comes free of dreams, the sort of sleep where you simply drift off, then wake up when you're good and ready, with nothing in between. Rarely do I dream otherwise, save but for the occasional vision from my anxieties stemming from long term unrequited love never confessed. Until the publishing of Project 27 Days, whatever its final title ends up being, that is. Perhaps then, I'll yet have the slightest shot at reaching her heart. But that's another story, for another day.

The lesson to be learned from this opening blog entry? Sleep. Just do it. Don't question it. Also, something about snow goons being bad news, I think. If you survived such an inane opening entry, you should consider yourself an individual of great mental fortitude. And maybe partially retarded.

That said, I suppose I should formally introduce myself. I'm Benjamin Fennell, eccentric and aspiring author extraordinaire. If you gleaned any sort of enjoyment from what I've written so far, anyway, feel free to stick around. It'll get less dense and stuffy yet, I swear. Just breaking into this more professional-level blogging stuff, after all. And watch for my book! Writers of words seek those who would read them. And I'm actually kinda capable of being funny, sort of, some of the time, anyway. And if it's one thing we all know people are good at, it's settling for less. It's what America was built on, after all.

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