Life as an Extreme Sport


Asleep at 0030 and awake again at 0500; I’m not sleeping much lately, or consistently when I do sleep. A lot of tossing and turning. The insomnia is back, and is certainly, this time, a result of stress. I do keep an eye on my arm, though, constantly monitoring it. It’s been sore the last few weeks, but nothing that a few advil won’t control. It’s just a few more advil than I’ve needed before. The quarter is wearing on me, physically and emotionally.

Perhaps it’s the cumulative nights of lack of sleep, but the world is both crisp and shrouded this morning. There is a cold crispness to the lines of buildings, trains, and the metallic. The lights are refracting in golden orange prisms. But at the same time, the world is draped in a misting, dove-grey fog that occasionally takes on metallic silver when wrapping itself around objects. It softens what would be a very harsh morning, and creates a different kind of beauty. There is wonder, potential in the fog. Hints of something different, better, miraculous, marvelous, just around the corner.

It makes me sad to think that there isn’t. It makes rueful smiles and thoughts of cynicism, and wondering where my good cheer went. And I remember that I was able to relax for a few hours yesterday, in the company of a friend, and that good cheer reasserted itself, along with my more characteristic calmness.

I’m wound too tight.

I hope that email sent last night, combined with several days “off”, will also allow my mental rubber bands to relax. Physically, I’m going to see what I can do with a hefty dose of prednisone — literally relax those chest muscles, and see if it forces the rest of me to relax as well.

I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like to lately. Largely, I’ve been caught in mental whyloops and known it — what’s the point in reiterating what has already been reiterated, somewhat to the death? The horse is dead, rotted, decomposed, and has turned into detritus, and is still being kicked. Maybe it’s time to dance, instead.

A thin line of darker grey on the horizon is the only indication of division between fog and water, with the occasional ship looming and suspended in the ether. When the grey glints mercury I doubletake; was that water, metal, or something in the air? If it weren’t for that subtle line and those glints, there would simply cease to be, beyond the winter brown grass and cliffs.

We’re quickly approaching the small area between Tacoma and Olympia that calls to me whenever the train takes us by; small houses tucked against a slightly crumbling cliff, water lapping against the posts keeping them elevated. It looks secluded, quiet; a tiny neighborhood of people opting to live on the very edge of earth, looking to the water and across it in their daily life. I romanticize them, imagining that they must be people who feel the surge of the tide in their blood, the moon waxing and waning a physical force upon them. I want to be among them, only today, I wonder — do I?

And then suddenly, Ketron Island erupts out of the fog, verdant and gold, the water a brilliant reflective blue. The fog roils and parts and pulls itself back from the land, blown away by the coming day.


  1. Been not sleeping well, either. And I misread the title of this post to be “fragged.” Shows where my brain’s at.

  2. 🙂
    I just realized today that I have more BSG I can watch, although my officemate really needs to get the rest of season 2… (because although BSG uses frak, frag is close enough to trigger it in my mind – well, and Dad was mentioning it earlier).

  3. That lovely little place you romanticize about is where I moved to Seattle from…and also home to the oldest incorporated town in the state of Washington–Steilacoom. And the name of the quaintest little beach beside the train? Sunnyside. No really. But it was named so long before I could make my impact felt in that town!!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  4. Yeah, it’s one of those things that amuses me – I realize that I am romanticising a place where most people probably romanticise the train going by! But I have a thing for living on the edge of the water, which makes that little nook (Sunnyside?) so damned appealing.

    Still, I’d probably go nuts, living there full time. However, a place like that, a few months out of the year, to hide and write and retreat…sounds lovely.

    And I did have a decent weekend, thanks! Nose-deep in books, for all it didn’t do. Gonna have to retake the damned GRE, grumblegrumble.

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