“The absurd man, turned toward nothingness as toward the most obvious absurdity, feels himself foreign enough to his own life to accept it, travel through it, and even enhance it.” Life, at present, feels newly rich in its meaninglessness, if also equally trivial. But how to encounter with compassion a meaning projected from without? It feels absurd to live, but what of the impact of a new fearlessness, a new disregard, on others? “… all sovereignties are illusory”, Camus says. But the current meaninglessness of life still brings meaning to others. Stop, I want to say, think nothing of this — all too aware that the meaning adopted from others, the ideas of lives to be lived that are glimpsed through connection, are far from hollow. Ideas are powerful. It is cruel to dismiss them as nothing more than constructions, to disregard them. It is also a lie to live according to anyone’s ideas but your own.

How to give cause to being adrift for those from without? Assign it a narrative, a trajectory, a fate, but what of the pain to come when the path inevitably diverges? When the plot twists? It is all chaos. Chaos is a hard thing to compute. But there is nothing else to do when faced with it from without. To accept and affirm oneself as an agent of chaos, echoed in those around you, is to disregard illusory causalities. My current erratic nature helps me understand others in this way, all the while making me newly aware of my own opaqueness. Confusion battled is confusion spread.

I feel guilty with regards to a dishonesty, a hypocrisy, anticipating the causation of a hurt I have found hard to weather. (Always the same analogy that rolls of the pen, of weather withstood, acceptance of storms, the affirmation of a calm brought on by cold showers dwelt in.)

“The man who analyzed the strangeness of his condition, who discerned its mechanism and subscribes to it with frankness and lucidity, becomes, if he draws from it a rule of life, a liar and a blind man; he saves himself with that which is his downfall; he makes a key for himself from the fact there is no key; outside of the terrible bonds of the absurd he keeps the absurd itself.”

I take two zopiclone and float through the Ouseburn. It is a lot more fun during the day. An hour later, two more. Then another. Without thinking, I have none left. Five days of nights consumed in an afternoon. Before this, I get drenched dashing to the shop for cigarette papers and filters. An awful feeling. After, rain bounces off me like glass, making a most delicate sound against my denim jacket. The inevitable smell of wet denim becomes a complex aroma. Life is a waking dream; respite from a waking nightmare. I had nothing more to say and yet the pen glides across paper like a knife, not cutting but leaving a fragile residue of impressions. My handwriting feels like smoke stuck to the air.

“… one thinks the poet renounces poetry because he could not find the language that his vision demanded.” No such luck. I feel indifferent to words, an abject imperfectionist, no real desire to hone a craft that makes expression sharper. No point, no blade. Just gliding through the unsayable like a boat on water, rudders splashing, muscles straining to retain a calm course. Onwards only, irreverent.

The night is a blur. I have little memory of it after I stop writing. I don’t go home. There are frantic calls to doctors on my behalf as I give into sleep in someone else’s bed, the person I’m with seemingly terrified I won’t wake up. But it turns out you need a lot more zopiclone and a lot more alcohol to be a real risk yourself. I speak on the phone to various people, answering questions but not remembering the answers given. Then a long resisted sleep. Still, that horrible feeling on waking up: of the moment of unknowing and uncaring; the memory of someone else’s distress set across from my own puzzled indifference.

I do wake up. I’m no longer allowed to hold onto my own medication. My brain has felt on fire constantly since. More and more things to dowse it with are taken away from me. I feel like I’m going through withdrawal, the thing desired most being not so much any particular substance but my own impulsivity, like going cold turkey on your own brain chemistry.

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