In Sandman there are a couple characters put to sleep for decades by the departure of Dream --- youth to old age in one fell swoop. I wouldn't mind so much if that happened to me - if I woke up at some point, that is, even if it was at age 70. It's better than staying asleep forever.
I thought about it a few hours ago, systematically. How many years of This is one year of reality, of sharpness, awakeness worth? (I actually started out thinking about how many lives of blankness a life of sharpness is worth but decided that was too difficult to be objective about, and I didn't want to get into Nietzsche crap.)
God, I don't have any mental guides, I don't have any feeling. It's like I have to choose between being so mundane and normal that I'm dead (that's the default state) or do comparatively insane things (easier to slip into doing them without any feeling, without any emotional ties to normalcy) in an effort to feel something (not that I've ever actually slipped into that; I just want to, sort of). I understand why people cut themselves; I've been tempted to do it just to see what it'll feel like, to see if I'll feel it at all, really.
I remember when I felt so much; I'm almost tempted to call it borderline schizophrenia, though that's probably insulting to people who actually have that disorder (there was that one time I hallucinated butterflies but that was so long ago, age 6 or 7). I like listening to Til I Die because I can get some of that feeling back, the intenseness of everything. Brian Wilson on the edge of the abyss, and you expect it to sound small and plaintive but it's not, it's somehow not; it's genuine, yes, and plaintive, but it's so sharp and real:
I'm a cork on the ocean /
floating over the raging sea /
how deep is the ocean? /
i lost my way, hey hey hey
I'm a rock in a landslide /
rolling over the mountainside /
how deep is the valley? /
it kills my soul, hey hey hey
I'm a leaf on a windy day /
pretty soon I'll be blown away /
how long will the wind blow? /
until i die
(these things I'll be) /
until i die
I don't know. I wish I felt like that, even with all the bad that goes along. I know it's stupid, and I'd probably wish to be like this if I was like that, but still. And, I mean, I don't really wish that because I can't really wish anything like this. It's so non-intense. I feel like I'm not really here. (The only way I could keep wishing it long enough to write about it was to start slipping into "write something good" mode, thinking about audience reaction, etc. So I'm sorry if its uncalculatedness seems too calculated, if it has the kind of unreality that comes from trying to be real, but angst isn't any kind of motivator for me because I can't feel it so egoism is picking up the slack. (And, I mean, it isn't all egoism; I don't know if any of it is. I want to feel things, sort of, or I want to want to, and pretending to feel them is sort of like feeling them.) I wish this writeup was more real but if it was truly real then it wouldn't be written at all. And I realize it probably won't make sense to anyone but when I try to revise it it feels like I'm messing it up.)
In this case everyone is used for anonymity, not public editing (obviously). I hope that's OK.
In light of the softlink I'll point out that this is not, in fact, a little teen angst
y thing; it's part of a larger picture involving some brain damage