Friday, April 4, 2008

Night Demons

The night before last was more than usually full of doubts and worries. They seemed to come from a part of me so distant as to feel like a different person, taunting me by painting luridly convincing scenery around my mind. In the morning I felt the same emotions of self-pity and helplessness, but when I looked for what caused them it was immediately clear that I had been scared by cardboard cut-outs.

These are the work of the Worry Gods' relatives. Like many people, I fret assiduously in an attempt at to appease these malicious little spirits, who without due reverence would otherwise jeopardise my projects in a fit of pique. As soon as I feel secure about something, they suggest to me that I am dependent on it, and therefore susceptible to sabotage from it. I deduce there to be a wider pantheon: there are jealousy gods and loneliness gods too.

It's as though I have a compulsive need to try out various emotions, perhaps to check they are all still working. My brain furnishes scenarios suitable to stimulate them, using characters who really exist but twisting and tweaking how relations are with them to fool me in whatever way fits the requirements. It tends to happen at night, and perhaps it's a circadian rhythm thing - I know most people are less rational in the small hours, especially in the dark. I wonder if it is linked to dreams and sleep: people say you need to dream to sort out the impressions and thoughts of the day; perhaps my mind has waking nightmares to try to sort out my emotions: dress-rehearsals designed to prevent the performance ever becoming real.

The strength of my imagination powers me for good and ill - it can dream up lovely things to send me to sleep, or scare me out of my wits. Stuck inside myself a bit more than average, I forget that most other people don't spend part of their time seeing phantasmagoria rather than reality.

As I make another cup of tea during the morning, I look down into the running tap, and then look out of the window as I rinse the mug. The securely familiar actions comfort me somehow. My mind relaxes a little more and this makes me realise how bad the emotional cramp had been. It does get bad, and the words I spit out at the time are my demon's, not mine. Except of course that it's my demon, and so they are still of me.