Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Behind the Eyes

I've had to take Benadryl three times in the past two days, which will have unpleasant consequences. Normally, I prefer to take a different over-the-counter antihistamine. The latter makes me odd in the short term and borderline psychotic when it wears off. Benadryl doesn't do that. But I have intense withdrawal symptoms instead when I take it, from headache to dizziness to sweating. I suppose I should be happy, though, because at least it doesn't make me zone out at the wheel, as happened twice with my sister in her youth.

I was just reading another Montaigne essay. No, I'm not making much progress. It's fun, though, particularly in light of this exercise in journal-keeping. At first I wrote, "concealment masquerading as revelation" after "exercise in," because it sounded neat. I realize, though, that, while every revelation can't help but double as a kind of concealment, it's not really accurate to use the term "masquerade." Or, to put that more cleverly, the act of writing that this forum features "concealment masquerading as revelation" would perpetuate the illusion that my journal is merely a masquerade when, in fact, it reveals more about me than I care to admit to myself. Yes, I know that the preceding sentence perpetuates another illusion, that of truthfulness and immediacy. The demands of the genre intrude.

Whatever. As you can surely tell, I'm falling under the drug's dark spell as I compose this entry.

Why did I sit down at the computer, then, when there's a half-eaten sausage and the end-piece of a tomato waiting for me on the dinner table?

Well, I could and should be writing about the fun I had at Skylar's birthday party, the massive success that it was for her and her friends. I don't feel adequately cheery to convey the good vibe, however.

So instead I'm going to try to capture the feeling I get when I've been reading a while, am already tired, and the relative humidity is low. It's like my eyes are drying out from the inside, until the leading edge of dessication meets the surface and I either fall asleep or force myself to take up a different activity.

I get this feeling a lot in Tucson, desert that it is. But there must be a psychological component to it as well, since I seem to get it a lot more intensely and rapidly when I've decided that I should be doing something important, something that matters professionally.

See, I'm writing this right now instead of reading. Then again, I was reading for fun. But I had this idea that I would start with the Montaigne and segue over to the William Gibson story I need to reread for my chapter on cyberpunk. If that's not an ironic commentary on my chosen scholarly field, I don't know what is.

The feeling I just described has returned. It comes from behind the eyes and pushes forward, relentlessly.

And that can only mean one thing, in the present conjuncture: it's sausage time!

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