Hopefully this little handheld gadget that serves as my only internet access these days will neither freeze nor crash as I write this. It has a penchant for doing that. More than once I have had a post nigh well finished, and the dern thing goes berserk and I lose it. The post, that is. Well, yes, I have thought about throwing the dratted Galaxy Tab on the floor and grinding it into powder with my heel (shades of Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird”), but that would mean no internet at all, so I exert a great deal of self control and don’t do it.
But that’s just an excuse, isn’t it? The real reason I haven’t been blogging, or writing anything at all, is that my brain is quite empty. Frozen, perhaps, like an old engine that just won’t turn over. I need a tune-up. Points, plugs, oil and fluids changed. Maybe a new starter engine. A solanoid. Distributer cap. But I’m showing my age now. New cars don’t have any of those things. It’s all electronic. It’s all computers. Tiny little brains scattered about under your hood, all working away in unison to make your internal combustion engine combust just right.
Maybe I’m using the wrong kind of gas.
But this evening, while doing three days’ worth of dishes and decontaminating the festering trash can, I started to hone in on the all-too-familiar feeling of numbness, distance, non-existence. I’m having word-finding problems tonight, so I can’t even give you the proper word to describe it.
I do remember the first time it happened to me, though. I was nineteen. It had been two years since I had returned from my stint as a teenage runaway. I’ll write more about that later, but not now. Suffice it to say that I experienced horrors that no child should ever have to face.
And one day, two years later, I found myself feeling numb. Totally numb, physically and everything else. I could not feel my feet. I thought I was dying. I called an ambulance and was taken to a hospital, where I found that I could not speak enough to tell the impatient young male doctor what was wrong. He discharged me, and I stumbled home in the dark cold fog of the Gloucester night.
Many years later I learned that this was an acute attack of PTSD. It was a true flashback, since the strategy I had learned, while living on the street, was to leave my body, whenever someone was doing something unpleasant to it. The difference was, that I was actually feeling the numbness.
I’m not sure what is triggering this current attack. I know I’m not over it yet. I don’t have time right now to take a few grams of Ativan and crawl into bed with the covers over my head, which is what would make me feel better. So I guess I’ll soldier on. Now where did I leave my spark gap gauge? Probably next to the timing strobe.