Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2003, 1:24 AM

Tales of prehensile tails

Tonight I sank into the abyss of insanity. After coding for no less than 22 hours and leaving the apartment only once during my weekend I spent my Monday at work until 8PM. I came home, heated up some alphabet soup on the stove (ex took the microwave which I have yet to replace), ate said soup, contemplated coding some more and promptly and absolutely lost my mind. In what seemed like only moments later I was jolted back into awareness to find myself hurtling at breakneck speeds down a highway in my truck. Upon closer inspection approximately 32 minutes had elapsed and I was rapidly approaching a suburb east of the city. Now, I assume that I had some plan because on the passenger seat sat a gift card for a large chain bookstore and music emporium. And since said store was open late I must certainly have decided that perusing the shelves was the only sane thing to do in my state of temporary insanity. Who am I not to listen to my radically deranged inner-child?

While at the store I purchased two CDs-"Light & Magic" by Ladytron and "Divine Operating System" by Supreme Beings of Leisure and two books-Microserfs by Douglas Coupland and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I had previously owned and read Generation X by Coupland and had until recently had a copy of Solitude in my possession until I lent it. I have a habit of lending what I consider to be fabulous books to friends and family only to purchase anew in time to loan again, and One Hundred Years of Solitude may very well be my favorite book of all time. I believe this to be my seventh copy / purchase of the book which should attest to my great admiration and desire to perpetuate that same affection upon all my friends and family.

After my spending spree I stopped on the way back to my apartment in the city at a 24-hour restaurant / diner. Which brings me to the most important piece of this entry. I ordered hot tea with cream and a BLT with mayo and pickles and wrote this on the back of the placement:


My eyes see different colors. Not different like swapping red for blue. No, it's more like tinted polarized sunglasses. My left eye has more yellow. It has a warmer, sunnier feel. My left eye is my summer eye and my right eye is my winter eye. You might think that the color had been sapped out of the world if viewed through my right eye. As if the world was subjected to a cold winter Sunday afternoon where the sky is overcast and everything is painted with the same tone.

And it is this bizarre affliction that exacerbates my other. Let me try to explain. Most people get sick, and sometimes due to the sickness alone, and sometimes with the administration of medication or narcotics, the person can achieve a state whereby they feel out of alignment. You know, slightly off-center, usually to the left, approximately two inches. Well, maybe not everyone, maybe it's just me. Either way I can state with absolute certainty that I feel two inches to the left at least half of the time. That's half of all of the time, not just sick time.

It's akin to being slightly out of focus. Or like those 3-D computer-generated landscape pictures the moment before the image resolves into definitive shapes amid the tessellated landscape of Escher-esque geometric blobs. Anyway, it is at moments like this that I empathize with that small set of people who experience phantom limb sensations. At these times I am acutely aware of my physical boundaries, and all parts of me require an additional two inches of space on my left side. Not that a physical reaction occurs if an object invades that space. It's more like a mental resonance, like "that wall whacked my existential elbow" where I can sense the encroachment upon my greater self.

And when I'm sick or tired or at complete peace this manifestation extends further. I can sense areas outside of my body. I can focus on a location just beyond my physical sensory receptors and it becomes an extension of myself. Perhaps it is a manifestation of some past appendage, an artifact of sorts, of some earlier phase of my / our evolutionary development. I mean, sometimes I could swear that I have a thumb projecting from the arch of my foot like an orangutan, and I'm certain it is an orangutan because I never sense a prehensile tail projecting from my posterior.