There is an eerie silence that settles into place where the hum of electronics dies. I never realized how truly loud the world was until the power went out, rendering an uncomfortable quiet. All the noises we tune out; the television’s incessant buzz. In psychology, the term for becoming accustom to and tuning out these sounds is ‘Sensory Habituation.’
It’s amazing the things we can become so accustomed to that we block them out. Things which, when they are gone, their lack of presence creates an uncomfortable, unnatural, void.
Oftentimes, I wish the world would just shut the fuck up for a second. To sit in the void. The sound of silence, in all it’s uncomfortable glory. I say this, even as I loudly pump music into my ears, for the simple sake of drowning out too many thoughts rushing through my brain. Thoughts about the weather. About life. About death. The mundane and inane. The constant buzzing.
We yearn for realness. To strip away and rip away, until the rawness runs red. Spilling over, pouring onto paper like sanguine sangria of a damaged mind. I have to take little pills to maintain my guts. To keep from disemboweling myself. To habituate the incessant humming. To make me ‘well’. Wellbutrin. Hell, even the name contains the term ‘well’ in it.
There is no comfort to be found in faulty wiring. We seek the comforts of a hushed mind, staring into half-drunk bottles of rum. I shake the prescription bottle. The pills rattling inside bring me a sense of ease before they even make their way to my tongue.
‘You’re rewiring.’ She says to me. Or something of the similar nature. I haven’t the clue whats going on in my head or in most conversations. The world moves by, and it’s like I’m looking out the window of a speeding car. Waiting to get to my destination. Habituation.
‘It’s all crap now. All of it.’ I say. Or something of the similar nature. I look at words stretched across the screen. They look hollow. Maybe that’s why I need the little pills. I don’t see words. I see living, breathing, organisms coming to life one keystroke at a time. But these words, they stagger. Slow and unsure. In their daze and hollow sadness. I will get used to their lack of life.
The double-edged blade of being ‘fine’. I am playing a Saw-like game. I have a choice. To end my mind or end my life. To bleed onto paper or to be ‘alright’. That term. Alright. It’s relevance is measured in the eye of the beholder.
I sat in my dark living room, clutching a knife. I was not alright.
Did the knife catch your attention in the same fashion it caught the light through the blinds? Are you sat on the edge of seat, yearning for what happens next? For the realness? The cup to runneth over from my wrists into a pool of stories onto the floor?
I shake the bottle of pills and blare loud music to chase the last of the thoughts out my mind.
I stare out the window as the world rushes by. Soon my eyes will be dead and I will be able to step outside to fall in line. Cured of the self-loathing. Rewired.
Briton Underwood is a writer. His byline includes big publications and small publications. What’s important to him are his words, not where he’s been published.