Snapshots of a stubborn headache

It’s been 3 hours since lunch – a “delicious”, “indulgent” lean cuisine pizza roughly the size of an english muffin that conquered two plastic knives, a powerade bottle full of water, and eight generic ibuprofen from the medicine cabinet humanely stocked in the kitchen – and the pounding on the brain is still contemptuously persistent.

Standing at the urinal, all finished but still there, foreahead against the cool white tile walls. Finally mustering the strength to step away, and then cringing at how loud a zipper is!

Draped loosely into a stubborn, unforgiving office chair, a bargain model from office depot designed for light home use or ambulatory workers made rigid, unconforming, jaded … and squeaky by years of 24/7 occupation, neck wrenched forward to accomodate the ice pack that mercifully numbs a six inch radius around the upper 3 vertebrae.

Stumbling from one side of the room to the other, down the hall, to the bathroom, to the sink, back to the chair… tripping over invisible obstacles, extra-dense pockets of air, the patterned rises in the low-pile carpet.

Taking aim loosely, clumsily with the faucet, water spilling onto forearms as the flowing water’s whine deafens and disables functional thought.

A feeble reach to the ringing telephone, eardrums torn apart by the evil, shrieking banshee who has made her home inside the doldrum plastic casing and has cast a spell on the device to shift it further away with each renewed effort to extend three fingers toward the handset and thereby interrupt her dreadful siren.

Abandoned by a natural instinct for over-punctuation, communications become confusing, verbose, circling and full of the errors that come from typing with closed eyes. But oh, how good it feels to close them!

Conversations with people – such unnecessarily loud people – that are less an exercise in understanding or common ideas and more a battle of wits between one person who desperately wants the conversation to end, to drop the handset lifelessly to the floor, to cast the vociferous device out a nearby window – only there are none nearby, and even the distant ones do not open – and another person who has know idea such a battle has been waged and chats along merrily in a teatime manner.

The white noise – persistent, pervading, inescapable… the movement of air; the imperceptible-until-amalgamated sound of electrons moving through paths and gates and switches; the high-pitched hum of a television tube – even tho it has no tube, and is turned off; the droning of the building powerplant, its reverberations carried by the very walls that should isolate and protect from the noise outside and below; the quiet hiss of speakers through which no signal travels and so which recursively amplify only the sound of their own amplifiers… the sum of them all, relentless and exigent, crushing in from every side, pressurizing one’s head like the deep ocean on a diver’s skull, with no hiding place, no reprieve, and no sensible recourse but a pair of hands clamped tightly over ears and a doddering mental effort to cling tightly to a dangling thread of sanity.

Man, my head hurts.

Television is my Matrix

I freakin hate internet exploder. Can i just say that right now, that it just sucks? Beef of the day: i just had half an entry written. And then i hit backspace, but apparently the cursor had moved out of my typing window (probably one of those incessant popup dialogs that keeps me from keeping any concentration) and apparently backspace means “go back a page” in explorer and so it went back a page and wiped out everything i’d done. Now i’m all about keystroke shortcuts, but they should be a little less incidental. I mean, the computer doesn’t reboot every time i touch the “r” key, does it? Well, things do crash pretty often, but i haven’t yet attributed them to a specific key. Augh! Who can i punish for this infamy?!?

So i spent about two hours reading an interesting article about the future of power generation. Some new, more efficient, cleaner methods that are on the horizon. Pretty cool if you enjoy that sort of stuff like i do. I think i should have taken more physics, or at least played less tetris on my calculator in the courses i did take. I wonder if physicists have an easier time finding good jobs…

Now why did it take me two hours to read the article? I’m not a slow reader, and it’s not a long piece. No, it’s just the yammering television in my left year preventing me from concentrating for more than like 3 seconds at a time. Having a headache the size of Sheboygan doesn’t help. My microwave lunch is in the initial stages of preparation; i’ve been biding my time to eat until it’s OK to take some more Advil. But the headache is secondary; this idiot box is making me crazy today, more than usual.

I pretty much hated tv already. It’s mostly mindless drivel, insulting to my intelligence and deadly to my productivity. I’m not saying i don’t watch tv, or find things that hold my attention on tv, but i almost always regret the time i spend glued to the giant brain-sucking eyeball and rarely – if ever – come away smarter, happier, healthier or better off. Usually, in fact, the opposite of all those things. So that aspect of this job is killing me. I’ve received lots of comments along the lines of “you watch tv all day at work? that must be nice!” but i’m here to tell you it’s not nice. It sucks.. The flapping jaws of the news media, the whizbang strobing of ads and promotionals, the circular plots and brainwashing plastic sameness that raise today’s children and therefore shape tomorrow’s world into whatever MTV wants it to be are driving me mad. 12 hours a day, pounding on my brain. Perish the thought i should try to work or concentrate or form coherent thoughts during a period of the day when i’m theoretically being paid to do all those things. I turn it off when i’m here alone, but that is most often not the case. Even without the sound, i can feel it sucking my brain away. Augh! There is no apparent escape…

I am not one of those people who turns on the tv while i’m spending time on a project, or puts in a movie and then walks around the house. The flickering box distracts me, interrupts my thoughts. Music is different – music motivates, empowers, relaxes and recharges me. With only small exception, every part of my day is a little easier with a soundtrack – thus my justification to buy an iPod. Note, however, that i felt i could afford an iPod, but still feel that i cannot afford cable tv. I believe that sums up my priorities right there.

Television is my Matrix, a false world that is broadcast in front of my eyes containing all the laughter, sadness, drama and entertainment that would be possible in real life were i not planted here watching it artificially happen to someone else. The problem is, i’m not buying it anymore, and i want to unplug. Now where is Morpheus with my red pill??