"When a man is asleep, he is no better than if he were dead; and he who loves life and wisdom will take no more sleep than is necessary for health."I'm having insomnia issues, and they're throwing my schedule all off (check out the time signatures on the previous posts). I don't need a whole lot of sleep, five hours tops usually, but when I find myself up at 6AM and I haven't made it to bed yet, it's pretty clear the next day is going to suck a little, probably with mental issues and a nap making everything screwy.
The difference, between the clock on the wall and my body clock, is very real.
"There is no use of a sleeping man, as there is not of a dead man. ... But whoever of us is most solicitous for living the true life, and for entertaining noble sentiments, will keep awake for as long time as possible."I'll have all these brilliant ideas and then - *poof* - they're gone, so I've got to remember to write them down,...if I can remember to write 'em down. I've got brain farts, skips in time, and a need for constant backtracking. I'm being extra careful while driving. It's all very tiring. Not like drugs. No, it's nothing like drugs.
Not like the ones we were doing back then.
"Come - come on in. It's not - it's not like that. Down - down we go. Fall through - fall through the crack."When I was young, in the '80s, I could stay up for days at a time - three or four, easy. Riding in cars filled with ants and empty fast food wrappers. Holes in my jeans. Cowboy boots - with spurs. I had to drink myself to sleep because I just wasn't going there. Sleep was for the dead, and it still is, compared to those of us who have work to be done. Creativity requires diligence. That guy or gal standing sentry on the fence. If you're not awake or aware, shit'll get past you.
Everybody's crashed out now.
"I stopped sleeping and I consider that the grandest tragedy that could occur. At all hours I walked the streets like some kind of phantom. All that I have written much later has been worked out during those nights."The first show I did in the 80s, before anything had started for me, I did with a German named "Z-Snot". He had teeth that looked like Dresden after the bombing. (I'm probably going to lose mine early, so I'm one to talk.) We'd rehearsed this show for weeks, staying up for outrageous amounts of time, getting our moves down ("Alright, you do this and then I'ma do this, and then you reach under my arm,...there!") and coordinating 5 turntables with keyboards before we'd ever heard what MIDI was or anything. Then we finally got onstage and he forgot everything as soon as the music started, abandoning all that preparation for momentarily hogging the spotlight and acting out to the point of catastrophe. (You've only got a "show" when you're actually doing something, right right?) The crowd was polite until he fell off the stage, blinded by the lights and propelled by adrenaline. We went from cool to fools in minutes.
I never want to hear boos again.
(This is a remix, which I'm not crazy about, but I couldn't find the original - and the guy's dead now - so I'm running with it anyway.)
"You enter into a conflict with the whole world, with sleeping humanity. You no longer feel like one person among others, because others live unconsciously. One develops a demented pride. One tells oneself, 'My destiny is different, I know the experience of the uninterrupted vigil.' Only pride, the pride of a catastrophe, gives you courage then. One cultivates the extraordinarily flattering feeling of no longer being part of ordinary humanity."I was sporting five small very tasteful and cool orange day-glo mohawks at one time back then, because - though I loved the machine music of New Wave - I was a Punk, and the lead singer of The Exploited had everyone beat for height. So FIVE mohawks. Oh yeah, I was so fucking hard. Spikes and everything. A human porcupine.
Listening to New Romantic shit on the sly.
"Insomnia, you ... in a single night grant more knowledge than days spent in repose, and, to reddened eyelids, reveal yourself a more important event than the nameless diseases or the disasters of time! ... I appealed to philosophy, but there is no idea which comforts in the dark, no system which resists those vigils. The analyses of insomnia undo all certainties."Like kids today, I never imagined I'd grow up, or could become the person I'd be, writing this. I didn't even know what "divorced" meant, and definitely couldn't picture myself married. I guess I'm lucky to have never had kids. I lived for late nights, and music, and Johnny Rotten had already said there'd be "No Future" so who was I to doubt it? Getting both my ears pierced, with a red hot needle, was more important than getting older. It proved I'd endure. And I have.
Just not the way I thought.
"We begin to live authentically only where philosophy ends, at its wreck, when we have understood its terrible nullity, when we have understood that it was futile to resort to it, that it is no help."Now I'm on some new and improved shit, shaking off everything that's ever held me. Including Punk, and old fucked-up friends, and apparently sleep. I'm working on music but it's coming from a whole different place, incorporating everything I've ever known, every style I've ever heard, all of it. I can't go wrong with music. I'm just as cocky as I've ever been. I know who I am. All I've got to do is stay alive.
But now, that's clearly easier said than done.