The pointless sleep of the depressed

It seems that we are most busy when we do not do the one thing we ought to do…
—Eric Hoffer

I just got up from an hour of pointless rest. I wasn’t really asleep, but I wasn’t really awake. I was daydreaming about how things could have gone right. I was thinking about what I could have done to make all of this work again.

I censor nothing out of what I write in here, so just get used to it. Just get used to listening to the way I talk when I don’t have anyone to talk to.

The thing I want most is the happy clatter of a keyboard. Forming words out of the void, slapping the blackness with a definite form. Making sense, driving something higher toward a purpose.

Glenn Gould would stay up all night playing the piano. Playing on the piano. He loved it.

There’s a feedback loop involved in any application of skill. You begin with an ideal image of what you intend to create, which you then try to realize. What fucks it up in between is your skill level.

When an expert like Glenn Gould plays the piano, the notes slam home exactly where he wants them to. All the timing and textures are exactly as intended. He can do this because he has done it so many times.

When a beginner tries anything, the result is off from what they intended. When most people pick up a pencil and try to draw, the drawing always falls short of what they visualized. A new musician knows the notes and what the music should sound like—but the notes from her instrument come out clumsy and distorted. More familiarly, a writer sets out to describe a feeling or an important event in his life, and his words come out bland and generic, or cloying and purple.

It’s this feedback that’s key to improvement. The hard part is to work at it long enough that your result matches the idea you started from.

Your skill has to become transparent. What makes it cloudy is your ego, etc.

I’ve some how managed not to take ridiculous naps for the last week or so. Unconsciousness has been my only break from life for the longest time.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I think about how I will only be young for a few more years. I think about the years I have wasted, years that could have been happy but instead were choked with miserable hesitation.

And then I feel exhausted when I think about everything I could do. I imagine the stories I want to write in their ideal form, before my imperfect hand has had the chance to fuck it up. And then I get overwhelmed and I fall asleep.

If there’s any character in all of fiction I sympathize with so much, it’s Salieri. He cursed God for giving him the desire to sing—and then making him mute. There are much worse fates to be stuck in, but being cursed with ideas better than you can actualize isn’t a pleasant condition. You have a choice between the hypocrisy of sitting on good ideas and falling short of something great.

It’s a much more blissful condition to never be plagued by aspirations of greatness. A girl once asked me if I ever revel in my strangeness, uniqueness, etc. I answered that I don’t—and I genuinely don’t.

I admire people who are comfortable enough with themselves to work a regular job and enjoy regular things. They never have to feel that hideously uncomfortable restlessness that comes from having a dream, that voice that always tells you there is something more important you should be working on. They never worry about falling short of how great they desperately need to prove to themselves they are, because they’re perfectly happy exactly the way they are and with the small joys that have in their lives.

Deliberate aspiration toward greatness is vanity, and maybe that’s why it always fails.

That made no sense. I’ll shake it off with a bit of freewriting. I can grease my face and shred it off with a bit of lightning in a pan.

I can’t count the number of ways I have fucked up.


Give him a piece of your mind

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