Canned Stew

By Kevin Pearley

 

It is raining again today. It rained all day yesterday and according to the meteorological visionaries on Channel 5 it is going to rain all day tomorrow as well. I could have told you that by looking out the window.

There is a small lake forming outside of the house. My guess is that the drainage vent in the street is clogged; with what it is impossible to tell. But I’ve seen this kind of thing before and in all likelihood it’s a combination f sticks, twigs, leaves and garbage. At any rate — I forecast that by day’s end the entire block will be flooded. Earlier I had thought that perhaps I would go out there with some kind of utensil and make an attempt to rectify the situation. But the water was already too deep and I didn’t have the appropriate footwear. Besides which — it’s not my problem anyway. I don’t drive and the way things are looking I’m not going anywhere today. Earlier — much earlier today I thought I might be out there being active in the world. But it’s not looking that way anymore

When I woke up this morning I felt thoroughly rested which, if the truth be told, I don’t often feel in the morning. Especially lately; my sleep patterns have been highly irregular and the nightmares have come back. I can rarely seem to sleep for more than tow hours consecutively and during the waking hours I move around in a kind of semi-trance that I don’t yet pretend to understand. And it’s not the kind of state that readily enables one to walk amongst the living and interact with them. But this morning I sensed this was about to change.

I opened my eyes and saw that it was 5:42 am. Nothing in me registered surprise. The first thing that crossed my mind as I lay in bed refining my focus was that somehow today was going to be different. Today I would break out of this prison of paralysis, with a conscious summoning of my will. Today I would walk outside — a free man.

But gnosis and praxis are tow entirely different movement and both are especially useless when confused with the ‘art’ of daydreaming. It’s one thing to have discovered a key that may unlock a door which has been hitherto locked and inaccessible o you; it’s another thing altogether to walk over to the door and actually try the key in the lock. The first might be seen as an inner movement, the second as an outer movement. And it’s all but impossible for one not to get distracted in their efforts to unify the two. The imagination is clothed in seductive shades; it has a unique way of dissolving, quite practically, one’s motivation.

The first thing I hear was the rain and it sent a deep chill through me as I sat there imagining me standing outside, naked. With all the unlimited possibilities before me in that moment of where I might direct my energies I opt for hits obtuse daydream. Of course I curled up tighter under the sheets. And I’m sure somewhere in there, for just a split second perhaps, there was a look on my face reflecting Armageddon, my knuckles white from clutching the pillows so tightly to my face.

But I soon relaxed. The rain became quickly soothing — as though consciously on it’s part it know I was already defeated and so altered its harmonies. I lay in bed for another half-hour. I began thinking about some material I had read relating to sleep in an article in a medical journal. The main thing I came away with, and what was no on my mind as I lay there, was that humans don’t really need as much sleep as we get. (I’m thinking here of that “eight hours” that seem to come up as the nightly average.) I though about a story I had read of a man who stayed awake for months.

I began to feel my day was slipping away from me before it had even started. I didn’t even have a plan and yet already I felt as if I had been thwarted. I started sweating. I realized I was practically suffocating under the blankets. I got up.

On my way to the kitchen the through flashed across my mind that maybe today I wouldn’t have any coffee, that maybe water would be a better choice. Ten minutes later I was on the couch watching he morning news and clutching a hot mug of coffee with both my hands.

I stared at the screen not really taking anything in. Every fifteen minutes I was reminded of what I had know now for well over an hour — it was raining and it was going to rain all day. I wasn’t doing anything today.

And like that I felt that something was over. I was drained. I stumbled back into the bedroom feeling somewhat repulsed with a myself. I fell into bed with a sigh and drifted off to sleep where I dreamt of preserved meats.

Drivel

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