Resistance and Rejuvenation
By ice rivers
Today's the day. Last night was the night. I only had to steal one mirror last night so I got my first half way decent shuteye in months.
At this moment I am resisting the urge to hit the sack and indulge in fatigue.
I'm thinking about the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Nightmare on Elm Street. In both of those flicks, sleep was to be avoided unless you wanted Freddy to slash through your walls or wake up as a pod.
Those movies always bothered me.
I hate the feeling of falling asleep when I don't want to fall asleep. This used to happen to me all the time, particularly on Wednesday nights when I was young.
Because I was big fan of horror films, my parents used to let me stay up "late" to watch Shock Theater which played all of the Lugosi, Karloff and Chaney films. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Raven, the Mummy, the Black Cat, The Invisible Ray,The Ghoul,The Werewolf of London etc. The show came on came on past my bedtime so it was quite a privilege and quite a challenge.
Plus, I was actually scared by the movies or at least I expected to be.
I would take my position on the carpet in front of our timy teevee set. The movie would start and before too long, I would realize that I was falling asleep. I learned to recognize the feeling and the "oh no" that accompanied it. I would invariably choose to "rest my eyes" for just a minute during a commercial. I learned after awhile that once I started to rest my eyes, the rest periods would increase in frequency and duration until at last I was asleep on the floor and had to be carted of to bed all the time insisting "I'm awake, I'm awake"
The morning came and I awakend with a sense of failure and a determination to make it all the way through the next week. I realized that once I started to "rest my eyes", it was all over. I would make a conscious effort to "resist the rest" but week after week I failed.
I wasn't used to failure back in those days and it frightened me more than the movies did. I was learning about temptation and my inability to resist it.
This was my first previews of fatigue but I really didn't know what fatigue was until a few months ago. There's a difference between fatigue and being tired, passing out, blacking out, dozing off or being exhausted.
For the past few months, I've suffered fatigue and it's a lot different from "resting my eyes" because in fatigue I'm not even interested in the "movie" that is my life. All I want to do is sleep, well not exactly sleep but more like escape but evdn in the escaping there is the over-riding sense of failure and guilt as days melt away and merge with nights.
So as I write these words, I am resisting the urge to "rest my eyes" and to go downstairs to my cave/pit. The urtge is strong but not as strong as yesterday and yesterday wasn't as strong as the day before.
They told me after my last blast of radiation that sometimes the fatigue starts to go away after a week and a half but sometimes it can continue for three or four months or in some cases forever.
Today is exactly a week and a half since my last blast. I'm gonna go the distance. I'm not goin' downstairs. I'm not gonna turn into a pod person again today. No way. I've charged up my camera. I'm snapping flowers. I'll be leaving for the ballpark in three hours. I'm gonna look good. This is the day I marked down on my calendar for the beginning of my comeback and I'm not gonna rest my eyes until I get back from Frontier Field.
My brother is my best friend and I haven't seen him during this whole situation. I want to see him now. I want him to see me snapping pictures, keeping score, drinking a beer and rooting for the old home team.
Freddy Fatigue can't get me at Frontier Field if I keep my eyes on the ball.