Living in Stereo

(moved over from jimmyknives.com)

My father has spent way too many hours a week in his car driving from customer to customer over the course of his lifetime. I was always kind of thrown off by the fact that he’d have it on some bullshit AM station. Just a couple of jaggovs yapping about whatever that hour’s show demanded. Ten seconds of that shit and I’d either boldly turn it off myself, or ask him to kill me. One or the other. Not that our FM stations were any better. I’d rather take a bullet than an hour of 100.5 fox rock too, mind you. I guess I’m not the only one since that shit isn’t around anymore.

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The reason I bring this up is that I might have stumbled upon a way for me to explain exactly what it’s like for me every day. I’ve been accused of speaking in analogies for a few decades now, and so I’m still in my wheelhouse. The AM stations are your day to day life. The really real world. Where you go to work, pay your taxes, take out your garbage, and actually suffer through meetings. Your waking life. Once you go to sleep you flip it over to the FM dial. This is where shit gets interesting. You could fuck so so and from work that you’ve never actually even talked to, murder a few people, get murdered by a few people, and ride a pink unicorn over the skittles fucking rainbow and impale your boss on the other side. You’ll just wake up and blame it on the spicy food you ate before you went to sleep. My situation is little bit different. It doesn’t stop when I wake up.

The shit that you see and feel when you are sleeping, your dreams, will tap out the moment you regain consciousness. You’ll be back to the monotone bullshit of the AM dial until you either go back to sleep or pay someone for drugs, ingest them, and wait for them to kick in. My dial is stuck somewhere between the two. The insanity of dreams is not confined to my sleep. There is a good chance that some of the crazier things you’ve dreamed about I’ve seen while I was awake. There is a perfect chance I’ve seen some shit that you’ve never even imagined thanks to what my doctor referred to as a “healthy imagination”. She actually giggled when she said it. Fuck, I hate doctors.

There are times that I’m stuck all the way in the AM dial with you guys. Nothing out of the ordinary happens. If I’m lucky it can last for a few days like that. Most of the time I’m not that lucky. It seems to be directly affected by how much sleep I get. The more I sleep, the less FM I’m likely to have to deal with. The longer I go without it, the further we are turning that dial. I tend to try to keep to myself when it gets like that. I can still completely hide the fact that it’s going on from everyone except those who have been around me the longest. I can be hallucinating my balls off and you’d never know it talking to me unless I let you get a good look at my eyes. It’s why I very rarely make eye contact with anyone. A few weeks back it took yet another turn.

It’s still so new that I haven’t really found a good way to describe it. It used to be when I first met someone that I would get vibes off of them and have a very strong opinion on if I liked them or not completely based off of those first few moments. Call it a gut feeling, snap judgement, or whatever term fits you. Lots of people do it even if they won’t admit it out loud because they don’t want to look like an asshole. I’m an asshole. I’m getting far more information off of people than that now. It can be blinding, and deafening. It’s made it really hard to be around people that I don’t know, and damn near impossible to be around a few that I do know. I am very used to the constant absurdity of my daylight hallucinations at this point. This new thing is a curve ball I wasn’t expecting and it hit me right in the face. I’m in uncharted territory for the first time in a long time.

Crazy people seem to have gone out of their way to seem dangerous over the past two years or so. Not everyone who has a mental illness has the ambition for world domination or even revenge on those that we think make light of our conditions. It’s impossible to tackle a problem that you don’t understand, and you can’t understand something if everyone who is afflicted with it remains completely silent. We all have our problems. You might be living with addiction. Can’t figure out what gender to be today. Maybe you just can’t figure out which God hates the same people you do. Me? I’m just living in stereo, and I can’t figure out how to turn that shit off. Well, maybe not off. Just down a little bit.