Jammed Vector.

August 15th, 2008

4:44 a.m. Sleep deprivation induces magical thinking, so that readout should be significant. Another example — when I look by chance at a digital clock and see 12:34, I feel lucky. Once, I looked and started counting. I got to 4 and it changed to 12:35. That meant it had been 12:34:56. I’m like the Chinese with their 8s.

I’ve been awake since 3 a.m. and I believe I have a “jammed vector’, the small part in the brain which unmoors the mind so it can sway rhythmically, inducing sleep. The jammed vector might, I hope, unjam if I write jammed vector in four ways — in the title font, in quotes, in italic, and just plain. I have now done so.

Still jammed.

Maybe if I imagine the numbers as Chinese gymnasts. 4:44, you know, half their lucky 8 size.


Shit. I have a big day tomorrow. Excuse me, today. If I am fortunate enough to return to dreamland, my roommate will wake me with his morning phone call to his son. He’s 96, and he’s loud because he’s deaf. His voice has a beseeching quality, like a teenage girl, the second syllable of “okay” which ends each sentence rises, which cuts through any stage of sleep. Soon after that, the nurse’s assistants will keen, “Good morrrning, Mr. Wickham.” I will eat two bowls of raisin bran with yogurt, then head down to physical therapy to walk on my just constructed prosthetic leg.

Later, it’s lunch with a friend and off to see a play my stepdaughter is in. She assures me it’s a terrible play, but wants me to be there. And I will, because I want to. I’ll return before 7 p.m. for an AA meeting on the floor above me.

Sounds like a nice day ahead, and it would be — if my vector was not jammed.

In a moment, surely by 5:15 a.m., I will be back in my bed, pushing and pulling on my vector, causing my entire mentality to rock back and forth like a car stuck in the mud, until it unjams.

And I get another hour or two of sleep.

It’s 5:13. Shut this puppy down.

2 Responses to “Jammed Vector.”

  1. Kevin Wolf Says:

    I’d only really get worried if my clock read 77:77 or some such. Or maybe I’d just buy a new clock.

    BTW, you realize you’d never have written this post if we all still used analog clocks exclusively?

  2. fwickham Says:

    Kevin — What are you doing up at this hour? Are you in China?

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