Monday, December 2, 2002


Veterans of the all-nighter will understand me when I say that I can pinpoint the exact physical sensation informing me that I've hit the proverbial wall. It's 5:30 pm and I was notified about three minutes ago.

The feeling is often prompted by a conversation on the telephone, or more frequently, by someone asking you a question. I got both just now. It didn't help that the question was, "Do you think Bunuel's association of Eros with death symbolizes his belief that ultimate fulfillment is impossible?" Sure! I say run with it.

In any case the sensation is this. My head fills with cotton, facilitating a disconnect between my reflexes and the aural and visual clues that surround me. Believe it or not, this comes on all at once. My sensory abilities are thus narrowed to fixating on very specific things: for example, right now all I can hear is the sound of my typing. If someone were to speak to me, I doubt that I would respond. Directly after that, my eyes begin to burn and my knees and ankles begin to ache - or, at least, I notice these irritants for the first time.

Of course, this isn't time to sleep. Even if I weren't otherwise occupied this evening, I wouldn't sleep: I'd sit here playing Big Money with a completely numb brain until my heart rate was down to a dull roar. You see, in my experience, the body works doubly hard when it hasn't slept, because it needs a higher RPM, say, to function when it's exhausted.

So there's no way to win. I've entered the stage in this process when I am genuinely good for nothing: I can't work, I can't have fun, I can't sleep. Which brings me neatly to my final point: describing all of this makes me wonder why I wanted to take the trouble of describing it.

Back to Big Money.

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