Oppositional Positions.

8/28/17.

I have always hated sleeping on my back. The story I’ve always told myself is that this is due to the fact that I would have nightmares as a kid when sleeping supine, though I can recall not even the vaguest example of single occurence. In any case, when I do my second meditation session before sleeping — this one guided — I do indeed lay on my back in bed. Before the session is through, however, I often turn it off on my old iPhone and take out the earbuds because I always have the overwhelming, even painful urge to roll over.

Last night I felt that intense impulse and, for the first time, refused to move. I did it for the same reason I’ve been trying to resist scratching itches or squirming around to get more comfortable in the midst of meditating: I need to learn to examine these emotions and sensations rather than impulsively react to them.

So I tried to examine the body sensation from a witness perspective. I was to some degree still within the emotion or sensation, still somewhat identified with it, but mostly on the outside, looking in, examining it like some scientist at the zoo observing an animal behind the safety glass. The violent energy and sense of urgency was remarkable. It was equally remarkable to be in that position outside of it, examining it, experiencing with clarity that I was by no means synonymous with it.

9/11/17

Last night I got home from work and decided to eat and watch the new episode of Rick and Morty before meditating. When I eventually sat down and started the timer, my stomach refused to just shut the fuck up. It often does this when I’m tense, which I suppose I was, as after ten minutes of trying unsuccessfully to ignore its relentless gurgling and focus on my breath I screamed aloud for it to shut up and wailed my fist into my tummy several times in rapid succession. This state of going apeshit is, to make a mole hill out of a mountain, totally at odds with my “witnessing” accomplishments lately.

I stopped the meditation session short for the first time since I picked up the daily routine again. I drank, smoked pot, and later, when the intoxication had largely worn off, I sat again before bed, much more successful this time.

Its frustrating. I get tired of losing my shit, almost as much as I’ve grown tired of freaking out and feeling down. For those that seem to equate consciousness with the body-brain, I must wonder how it is I came to be in such a profoundly oppositional position to my body, mind, emotions, instincts — everything save for the inner eye that I feel is the most essential part of me. Even in my own mind and body I don’t seem to belong, and that’s perhaps the most frustrating fact of all.

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Goblins of the Threshold.

I. Samhain.
11/1/09

Closing my eyes, letting go, my mind drifts, blossoming spontaneous motion pictures, as is usually the case before I slide into a dream. Relaxed and numb, I am certain I will fall asleep for the few hours I have until I have to start waking up for work, but suddenly, in the silent movie in my mind, one of them pop up. Short, slender, large head and black, slanted, almond-shaped eyes. I come out of it, then drift back into another motion picture, but again they emerge, uninvited.

Curse my unconscious.

Getting up out of bed, I pour myself a mug of coffee. Sit in front of the computer. And then I just stare off into space. Stare into the void where answers should be.

II. Just Another Paranoid Afternoon Morning.
11/13/09

It is the eleventh; the day before my birthday. Something feels “off” from the moment I open my eyes. Suddenly I just wake up, as if out of a trance at the snap of fingers, and look at the clock, which reads around one in the afternoon. Apparently I had gotten up, turned off my two alarms and fell back asleep without realizing it, which happens a bit too often. Either in my hand or just near it on the bed is my cell phone, which immediately struck me as odd, as I always keep it in the chair next to the head of my bed and would have no reason to have it in my hands anyway, as I hadn’t set the alarm on my cell last night. Strangest of all, I was positioned on my bed wrong; my feet were towards the head of the bed, my head at the foot. I sure as hell hadn’t fallen asleep that way. Granted, I must have gotten up to turn off the alarm, which I’ve done countless times without realizing it, but I’ve never settled back down in bed in the opposite direction. And that still didn’t explain my fucking phone.

Later, I would become disturbed by the possibility that I might have been sleep-walking, or more specifically sleep-talking — that I had either answered the phone in my sleep or called someone and had some conversation I didn’t remember. Checking my cell later on, I saw no number called or received during the time I was out. I’d had a few beers the night before, but I certainly wasn’t drunk when I fell asleep. So I just got up, made some coffee, checked the net, took a shower. Tried not to think about it, tried not to reinforce my own stupid paranoia.

And failed fucking miserably.

III. Faces Out From the Haze.
11/16/09

Saturday night, more like Sunday morning. No sleep aide tonight. No pill, no bottle. Back to the mattress, lain straight, I close my eyes, focusing on deep breathing, imagining a cocoon around me, and then relaxing myself from toes to the top of my head, going deeper, deeper. Just breathe. Just relax. Again I see them in my mind’s eye. Involuntarily rising up from the mental haze, this time it is just their faces staring down at me, real close up to my face. Eyes raping my eyes. Breathing deeply, relaxing further, I try to find focus on Ajna, the third eye region, but even with that calm concentration where I feel entirely compact and focused, I see one of them looking down at me, face so close its almost touching mine. Even my mind is against me. Rolling over, face to the wall, clutching the wadded-up blanket like a child, I tell myself just to go to sleep. To forget them. Just sleep without dumbing yourself down tonight. Ignore the sounds, its just the neighbors, the people upstairs, the cars outside, the plumbing, the computer. No one is there. No one is there. Fucking go to sleep.

IV. Supine.
11/20/09

I wake up on my back, my body positioned straight, legs together, both my hands placed on my chest, and paralyzed. I am unable to move anything but my eyes. Unless I am meditating, this is a weird position for me to be sleeping in, and even when I do meditate and eventually fall to sleep I roll over on my side or my stomach shortly thereafter. As I open my eyes, staring at the ceiling, an afterimage of a straight line blinking in my field of vision for a few moments for some odd reason, I immediately recognize how peculiar all this is, and though perplexed, I am unafraid. I move my eyes, which is the only part of me I seem capable of moving, towards the clock, but I cannot remember what time it was that I saw. Nor can I recall my dreams, though I feel certain I had more than one. I remember thinking it was a shame I had not kept my webcam recording me sleeping as I had several nights prior. I then close my eyes again and drift off to sleep.

V. They Are My Waldo.
1/12/10

If you ever watch South Park you may have noticed that in many episodes that have stretched out across the seasons cameos have been made by “The Vistors,” as the writers call them, or, as they are more popularly known, the Gray aliens. Its like Where’s Waldo? only in this case Waldo is short, skinny, with a huge head like an overturned egg upon which rests two big, black, slanted and almond-shaped eyes. And even if you don’t look for Waldo, he pops up out of nowhere, haunting you. Sometimes these cameos are blatant, but more often you’ll find them hiding in the crowds or in the scenery.

Well, for the past few months this is precisely what my head has been like when I’m lying down trying to go to sleep. As is always the case, pictures emerge out of the haze of my mind as I am on the bridge of sleeping and waking; sometimes these images are in color, sometimes they manifest in this crisp, vivid, opaque kind of quality, as if I’m viewing it all through a pair of dark sunglasses. Often its scenery, sometimes people; sometimes freeze-frames, sometimes there’s movement. So I’ll be letting my mind go and drifting calmly off to sleep when out of nowhere one of the Grays will appear, walking around, and they will look dead at me like some character on television that suddenly looks back at you from within the screen and you get the startling sense that the character is real and can actually see you. As can be expected, this freaks me out and I bolt awake, physically bolting upward, only to try and fall asleep again, often to only have it happen again.

To be entirely honest, I prefer this to what was occurring maybe a month or two ago, when I could not lay my head down into the pillow sober without seeing, within my mind, images of a group of Grays looking down on me from real, real close-up. I always sleep on my side or with my face down in the pillow, rarely on my back, so the fact that I always saw them looking down on me from a supine position shocked me even more; despite the fact that these were before-dream images, it felt as if I was actually there, real-time, on my back, despite the fact that I most certainly was not (or at least at the time, I can say with confidence). I really would have hoped that after all these years the sight of their faces would not haunt me so; that they would not be so very entrancing and yet simultaneously frightening.

To some things, it seems one can never become desensitized.

Wrong Body Bound.

For days, I had wanted to ask Christy, a new girl, but I was looking for the right window. Before she accepted me on that online social network I had determined she was a lesbian, and her status days later made it clear. It also inspired great curiosity. One day, out of nowhere, I just up and asked her about the status.
 
“So you feel like a man in a woman’s body?”
 
This beats small talk.
 
Indeed she does, she told me, and I told her I found it interesting. I confessed to her that despite being heterosexual, I find myself identifying with the homosexual community in a way. Our differences are invisible. Most of the homosexuals I know are actually bisexual, but the identification remains. 
 
A lot of it comes down to my mind. Not only do I seem to think and feel different things than those around me, I always have felt that I think and feel in a different way. Clearly the strange experiences have a lot to do with it, as I certainly perceive different things than others do. It went deeper, however, and the disturbing accusations of unearthly little men throughout my life is certainly not where I hope it has root. 
 
Nonetheless, there was the feeling of being in the wrong body and what I had never personally encountered (to my awareness) was someone claiming this same particular aspect. How she felt in particular made perfect sense to me because I feel the same way, only it was not in terms of gender identity and sexual persuasion. I just feel as if I don’t fit in my body, as if I’m in the wrong one. I just don’t feel comfortable in my skin.
 
“Is it like an itchy sweater?” Abbey, a friend of mine, once asked me.
 
“No,” I had told her. “It’s more like a spiritual wedgie.”
 
To my relief, Christy didn’t look at me like I was weird at all. “My aunt’s the same way,” she tells me.
 
I asked her what her aunt said she felt like inside, but there were customers and if she answered, I don’t recall the reply.
 
Still, it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

Drip-Dry.

Is the mind to the brain like a bulb that just suddenly burns out one day? Do we shine bright like the blazing sun and then leave with a bang if our power source is not cut off first? Is loss of life sudden?

Is the mind akin to a fluid the brain holds, which it then either sips dry or lets bleed through the narrow fissures betwixt its butterfingers? Do we slowly fade away, slipping into the infinite void of non-being? Riding the rapids of white noise until the violent sea consumes us? Fizzling off into the static until we reach the station of negation? Are we dying from the moment we’re born, slowly draining the precious vein of vitality?

Is the mind to the brain like a driver to his car? And the car will surely break down for good one day, but can and does the driver ever die, regardless as to whether he has but one car or a long succession?

I see evidence suggesting the last, but the first does not make me afraid, only the second. That from the moment we are there is a race between dripping dry and being swallowed by the beastly are-not I find to be morbid and terrifying. If you take any of it away, just take it all at once.

I never wish to be any less than who I am. I would never wish it upon anyone to be any less than who they are.