It’s mid-November and my good intention of falling asleep a bit earlier than the previous night fails miserably. My mind is still wanting to play, it seems. And so, we press the ‘rewind’ button then ‘play’, on the tape cassette that is my mind’s memories. I stay helplessly awake. The distraction of a flickering light pulsating endlessly from an ethereal cable just meters away from my bed leaves my eyelids dry and irritated. Another unfortunate outcome of the pandemic with the addition of a home office inside my already small-sized bedroom.
What comes next isn’t bringing me any closer to a good night’s rest, as my nocturnal mind fills up with the repeated verses of Selena Gomez’s ‘calm down’, and now, the world’s ‘going-ons’ is flashing between the palms of my hands. The lyrics, the reels and the selection of IG video clips -all courtesy my personal algorithms chosen by the robot behind the device. My latest pop up feed – the revolutionary youth in Iran and western media’s mess of delivering their correct message – a result of our never ending paternalistic controls of world events and it’s negative impact on human rights – women, specifically. My head starts to throb.
I plead with myself just this last time to fall asleep so that the next time I open my eyes, I would be able to transport my body into my gas-fueled car and belt away to a cold spacious mall-of-a-bunker that’s guaranteed to be decked out in Xmas decorations. I could inject liquid sugar from a candy cane into my arm tomorrow morning and feel just as elated but I would need the extra jolt of Xmas jingles. The mall’s speakers will provide just that. There is the social aspect as well. Being in a mall with all the other mall zombies feels strangely comforting. They too had likely planned to go there first thing the next day, as well. Most are reaching for some external feeling of joy and others are just ready to part with a wad of cash for some therapy shopping. The mall would fill up quickly soon after I grab my expensive grande chai latte (with oat milk).
It’s 4am now and I am less convinced I will bring as much of a festive spirit along my morning drive to the mall.
10am – lying awake – groggy and still in bed.