A Bullet for the Critic

Dearest Rachel –

Midnight! Two! Six! What is with this dog, that he can’t tell me a decent nights sleep?! After all, if Daniel is to be believed (and he’s never been a very good liar), the old boy sleeps plenty soundly during the day.

Okay, maybe I have my answer, there.

And to be fair, the old boy had plenty to get out of his system at midnight and two. It’s still plenty irritating after this past weekend; I’ve only been home for two nights, and I’m already dreaming of traveling… anywhere. Just let me get some sleep!

I know she works full days, which might explain it, but I haven’t heard word one from Ellen since getting home. I wonder if, after this weekend’s experiences, whether she simply does not want to talk about it.

Even more infuriating, after getting him up and outside this morning, he literally does nothing. Just sinks to his elbows, head darting around, as if he’s wondering “Why are you taking me out here like this?” Dude, you were the one barking!

Now, I’ve heard stories of Salvador Dali, and how he would take catnaps while somehow holding a nail above an aluminum pan, or some such contrivance; I forget the specifics. Come on, can I be expected to remember such stuff in the middle of my current sleep-deprived state? But you see, sleep deprivation was the whole point of what he was trying to induce. When he would actually fall asleep, he would drop the hardware onto the pan, creating a clattering noise that would wake him up. Thus roused, he would find himself in what he considered to be an altered state of consciousness, which he termed the “paranoiac critic,” whatever that was supposed to mean. It was this state of consciousness that would generate the images that would mark him as one of the great surrealists of art history. Or at least, that was the theory.

As for me, I’m already disadvantaged insofar as my mind’s eye can draw pictures that my hands can’t re-create. Whatever images might come to mind – were I to follow this theory – I would be left having to describe in words as best I could. In practice, however, I would describe the technique as worse than useless. Every single anguished bark (even if the old boy isn’t feeling anguish, he certainly sounds it. He barks like this even when I come home from work, when you might expect him to be barking out of a joyous “welcome home, master” type of attitude; it all sounds like he’s in great pain, even if he isn’t, really) enters my consciousness like a gunshot – a bullet to the brain of my paranoiac critic, to say nothing about my ability to get any more sleep.

What subconscious images I might’ve had at that point simply burst like so many soap bubbles. Oh, there’s still a surreal fog that surrounds me in this state, sure, but it’s incorporeal to the point of being useless. And the best I can do is sit here and tell you about it, while Chompers continues to whine, now that he’s been brought inside. I won’t feed him until seven o’clock, and that’s that. I’m sure I’m just setting myself up to lose this battle of wills yet again, but I’m annoyed, and I’m going to dig my heels in, even if he digs his.

The problem is, he has twice as many heels to dig in. So he’s likely to win, based on sheer numbers.

Today – or at least, this morning – is going to be a busy day, too. Both Chris and Jan are coming over this morning to work their respective magicks, at which point Jan and I (and Daniel, too – I’ve made it clear to him that he can come with, and probably ought to) will be heading out to the showroom to look at the various details (ha ha) of possibilities regarding materials to be used in both the kitchen and laundry room; things like the backsplash and flooring, to say nothing of new windows and what not.

I have been looking forward to this opportunity, but I was hoping (well, subconsciously at least – it never really crossed my mind this would be an issue) that I would be in a suitable mental state to make the decisions that I needed to for them to proceed with the ordering of materials and all that.

Well, we’ll see how everything goes. If it turns out that my kitchen clock (once everything is said and done) looks like it’s made of wax and melting down the wall, then we’ll know that Chompers is responsible for my paranoiac critic winning the day. I’m sure your dad would’ve been pleased.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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