Saturday, December 7, 2013


So it suddenly struck me that my apartment was like a setting from a survival horror game. This week, I'm cleaning.

There's more to that story, of course.

I've got my good days and my bad days.  This past few months, it feels like most of them have been bad days. The current show is tough, and I'm finishing each performance exhausted.  Can't seem to spare the energy for much life maintenance, much less taking on other paying work to try to get ahead of the flood of bills. This last weekend, got sick on top of it. Got so sick I couldn't sleep, and stumbled into the last performance of the weekend on about three hours of sleep.

There was no evening show, but I was too wired to sleep and too tired for anything else. And that's when the meandering thought struck that for once in my life I own a computer manufactured within the last decade, meaning I could actually run one of the games I'd been hearing so much about at the Replica Props Forum.  A game like, say, Portal.

Well, yes, I could. And ended up with a marathon gaming session between Portal and Half-Life 2 (package deal from Valve). I gamed until dawn.

You could pretty much call this point a nadir. When I staggered into the kitchen with neck sore and fingers twitching from too much game and too little sleep and too little to eat, and I realized I was looking at the same depressing textures and set dressing; the trash and rust and dirt of those all-too-familiar settings of far too many games (Half-Life 2 included).

When I crawled into bed, it was with a depressing certainty I'd spend most of the next week sore and tired and basically messed up from too much gaming on top of too little sleep and food. And blame myself. And be still looking at an ugly living space.

Except that's not what happened.

I slept a mere five hours, and woke up all vinegar. Practically jumped out of bed, and started cleaning of the once-in-a-decade extra-deep spring cleaning kind of cleaning. Didn't even stop for breakfast first!

And after spending ten hours cleaning house, I still felt great. And played a little more Half-Life 2 before bed, and woke up still feeling competent. Feeling not just strong enough to do housework, but actually thinking clearly for once. Able to see better ways to arrange things. Able to make those hard decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. And I threw away a lot.

The last time I felt this good -- healthy and productive -- was during a part of Tech (for the same show) when I was getting by on almost no sleep or food. It makes me wonder which is the proper causal relationship. I once recovered from a nasty stomach upset by going to a MacDonald's (the kind of food I rarely eat otherwise).

Maybe I've got some principle of homeopathy going on here. Maybe the way to fix a queasy stomach is by eating greasy, unhealthy food, and the way to get lots of energy is to do things (like marathon gaming sessions) that should by rights make me even more exhausted!

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