Tuesday, March 8, 2005

But Is It Normal?

I feel weird. Last night and this morning, I felt like my depression had passed off... I felt cheerful and calm, clear-headed, normal. I sang, even.

But then as I was getting dressed this morning, my mind went wandering down a train of thought that led to a particular person against whom I harbor resentments, and I got really really angry, suddenly and deeply furious. Later on, as I drove to work, I suddenly felt like crying. And then at the office, I found all these things that totally slipped my mind yesterday and today, and I repeatedly (like ten times or more) forgot about this one ongoing task that I had running, so I doubt I'm as focused and clear-headed as I thought I was.

As the day passed, I found myself on a sort of roller-coaster of emotions, anger and sadness and befuddlement (I know that befuddlement is a state of mind, rather than an emotion, but I can't think of a better word for this feeling), and I felt very unfocused and at the same time fidgetty. It's not a severe rollercoaster, mind you, it's more of a kiddie-coaster with three-foot drops and little cars shaped like caterpillars. Still, I don't like it.

So am I manic? Am I depressed? Am I fluctuating wildly between the two? Or just swinging in shorter arcs, not quite all the way to the pole of each, just winding down like a pendulum that has lost momentum? Or is this normal, with a side-order of overwork and a dollop of resentment? Have I become so accustomed to the depression that I've simply forgotten what normal feels like?

But aside from keeping a record of the oscillations and permutations (that was for Tom, who admires my vocabulary) of my depression, there seems little point in talking about it any more. Like all chronic problems, it becomes boring in its sameness after a while... though every day is different, it all boils down the same boring old word, one I'm tired of writing.


So. Over in the world of Worst Luck, I have been stuck on visualizing and planning out the upcoming scenes. As I first conceived of the scenes, some time ago, I had a visual concept of Valerien's apartment; however, while trying to figure out how such an arrangement of rooms would work, I discovered to my dismay that it wouldn't really... I mean, I can design the building underneath the apartment to any shape and size that suits my purposes, but a simple problem of practicality came up: nobody would build a bedroom suite so that the bathroom and closets were facing the view and the bedroom was facing a hillside, which is how I had it plotted when I was really more concerned about the positions of the rooms in relation to one another, without considering the geography of the place. Futhermore, I've already drawn the plans for Marshall's apartment, which is in the same building, so there was a certain amount of proportions already settled, such as the depth of the building (about forty to fifty feet).

Well, eventually I got the floor-plan for Valerien's apartment worked out, after several hours of sketching on paper and plotting on my 3-D Home Designer, and have been training my mind to conceive of the scene accomodating this new plan, but I am having difficulty reorienting the scenes to the simple fact of having the bed and the bathroom on a different side of the bedroom.

Why all this attention to floor plans, you may ask? Well, I have always had a great love of floor plans and domestic architecture, to begin with. But also I've found that when the author doesn't have a terribly clear concept of the layout of a room, they make mistakes that people who do map things out in their minds (like me) notice and find jarring. In Pride & Prejudice, for example, there was this one room in which a number of scenes occurred, and either the servants were constantly shifting the furniture around so that the thing Jane Austen wanted was next to the fireplace, or else every stick of furniture was clustered up in one corner of this room... no matter what piece of furniture the the characters used, the sofa or the escritoire or the pianoforte or whatever, they were right beside the fireplace. It drove me mad.

I also got stuck worrying about Danny's nonstop erection, which was a source of embarrassment on Danny's part (and pleasure on other people's) in the last scene. Might Marshall have slipped him a Viagra or Cialis unbeknownst? Might he, perhaps, have slipped a little pill up Danny's back passage while mauling him in the foyer? And if so, wouldn't that put an entirely different spin on Danny's perspective of his encounter with Marshall, once he realized he had been drugged, despite all his cautions?

I became quite enamored of this idea, and was working a fairly emotional and interesting scene around it... but then I wondered, can Viagra or any other medication be administered rectally? I was under the impression that putting anything up your anus has pretty much the same effect as swallowing it, if not more immediate. But after a fairly laborious Google search, I couldn't find any confirmation of that assumption. I had to come to grips with the possibility of throwing the scene out... it wasn't necessary, but I really liked it.

Fortunately at the meeting tonight I realized I could ask a certain friend of mine in the health-care profession, and was told to my joy that, yes, it would work that way... if placed in the rectum, a medication will have a slower absobtion rate than the stomach, and can be expelled from the body easily, but if Marshall pushed it beyond the rectum and into the colon, which shouldn't be too difficult to do with normal-length fingers, and especially if it were an uncoated substance embedded in a glycerin suppository, it would go in smoothly, stay in, and absorb completely and rather quickly. So, hooray!

Of course, now all I need is the time and energy — and most importantly imagination — to get through the next scenes, which are going to be specifically sexual... I always have difficulty writing about sex, it's difficult to know where to pull back from the narration and become vague, difficult to know how much information is too much, difficult to balance the prose and not veer off to either maidenish reticence or downright pornography. Then there's the whole issue of not personally having had sex in almost nine years, I've sort of forgotten some of the feelings and mechanics, the thereness of sex, if you will... I'll have to focus on the visuals (which are quite familiar to me), but whenever I talk about anything with which I am not entirely familiar, it's difficult to maintain authenticity.

Ah, well, these are the little trials from which we learn so much, and which make this project so satisfying. When something is a little bit difficult to do, it's so much more pleasing when one finishes.

Well, my ducklings, I am going to bed now. I am most sleepy, even a kiddie-coaster of emotions are draining after a whole day, and I have another long day ahead of me tomorrow.

Bono's Nachos!

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