Short Stories

Nightmare of a Softboy Chapter 3

So I flipped the dial.  I did it. I am, or was, at that moment completely overtaken by a fever of lethargy.  It had crept between the discs in my spine for days, or months, or weeks, or years, or months, and I had, at this moment, surrendered my action to it.  Hindsight is, obviously, sufficient to make any historian a genius. You in your comfort, or myself in my narrow-minded approach to my own identity, which existed before me and only then, can easily chastise this decision.  But the fever. Values are luxuries. Without material well being, I cannot even retain enough consistent consciousness to formulate meaningful conclusions from my surroundings. And so, in the undetermined and unimportant length of time preceding my decision, I was broken down into something which was not me or otherness or really anything.  If there was no one around and my mind was relegated to ponder why it was so hot and heavy, then there would honestly be nothing left.

I can recall a day where it was particularly bad.  Though clear comparisons between this instance and the one which ultimately led me to turn on 102.9 are impossible due to the incredible abundance of factors which contributed to their tangible assets, I imagine that it was generally less severe simply because it did not lead to an apocalyptic action.  Additionally, analysing every piece of the scenario which facilitated my dial-turning would be too difficult, at least now, because it has been fantastically muddled within my memory, and would subsequently be even more muddled in my articulation.

One morning, at around 2:30 PM, I was laying on my couch.  My eyes sloppily traced the ceiling. I was dressed but not particularly; I had to anticipate any lazy stomach pains.  But then, out of nowhere, or perhaps maturing slowly, or perhaps as a result of some forgotten force, my head began knockings into itself.  The stinking mass of nerves and tissue sleeping in my noggin began to boil, belching and excreting against the back of my eyes. It was a monolith: absolutely inescapable and coupling into every piece which could call itself me.  And so I laid there. What else could be done? I let it throb until it subsided or maybe it didn’t and it only happened to get even worse later. Operationally, the results were the same.

It was therefore in a desperate ploy for relief that I changed to 102.9. I had become obsessed with whatever state of flux could relax the aching pieces rattling within me. And in this flux I began to listen.  And in this flux I began to tap my foot.

– Cliff Jenkins