I’ve found a new way to be productive and it’s exhausting me.
I’m not sure if it’s more or less exhausting than the potent combination of guilt and anxiety produced by procrastination – probably it’s just a different kind of draining.
Today, after two hours cloistered in a library cubicle, working diligently on a late paper, I got stuck on the stairs to the ground floor. A girl passed me on the landing. She said something , and I couldn’t hear what. I had my headphones on, but with the cord yanked out, so I just heard muffled quiet, and felt pressure. The girl glanced back at me a few times. I remembered how to climb the stairs.
Outside of the library, I stood rocking on my heels, getting cold, blowing out clouds, stimming out on stars. It took me a while to gather the energy to walk to my dorm. I felt I’d hit some kind of wall. I thought, I have come to the end of my brain. In high school I had some arrogant idea that my brain was somehow infinite, and only my time was limited.
The moisture on the ground was turning into frost, creating a sparkling effect that first dazzled and then overwhelmed me.
I’m pretty sure I used the last of my spoons to get to my room, or perhaps the penultimate spoon. I have a backlog of German homework to do, but I can’t do it anymore, so now I’m calculating how early I have to get up this morning, how best to bury and wrap my alarm to keep my sleep-deprived self from simply shutting it off and giving up. I’m at that point where I’m so tired that the steps between me and sleep – taking things off the bed, turning off the light, setting and wrapping the clock – seem insurmountable.
So I’m not sleeping. I’m thinking about thinking, worrying about worrying, writing about writing.