Ctrl+Alt+Del

Since the BlogHer '08 conference, my body and my brain have become this weird haunted house from a foreign amusement park. Every time I turn around something new pops up that I never would have suspected: extreme exhaustion! strange poop! feet that smell of hot rubber! chest like a death rattle!

Within a couple of days of my return home, it became abundantly clear that I had contracted an intestinal looseness accompanied by a cough that would later come to be termed by the internets as "BlogHerbola". I also somehow managed to feel jetlagged for an entire week from a trip that only took me into a time zone with a difference of one hour. A funky foot odour kicked in around day three post-conference that is a cross between vinegar and old tires, and a mildly alarming red mark has started growing below my left breast.

Lastly, and most importantly, I have not been able to to sleep properly in the last week-and-a-half. I dream that a dear friend has died, the Palinode has left me, and I am abandoned bereft and alone in the psych ward. Onion spends the night touching my face with his paw and then saying Mmmm-OW! three inches from my nose when I open my eyes (and he pees in the laundry, and he knocks my water over, and he insists on rubbing his teeth along the edge of my lampshade, and he licks the garbage bag so it makes loud, crinkling noises). I wake up spontaneously, hot and anxious, sure that I have faced some horrific tragedy and will never be the same.

Sleep is for the mentally stable.

And, because all of these things together weren't already doing enough to make me feel off-kilter, I forgot to take my psych medication for two days in a row. Illness, exhaustion, and poop oddities apparently needed to be topped off with a certain level of mental incapacity to make the whole experience that much more memorable.

It is a usual habit of mine to say things in my head as I do them. As I type this phrase I am typing here right now, my internal voice is saying azz-eye tie-peh this frayz-I-yam tie-ping hearrrr rye-get now. My internal voice speaks phonetically. With my brain on a bit of a chemical bender, my internal voice becomes its own brother father on its mother's side: azz [backspace over Z], Ay Ess space Eye space Tee Why Pee Ay [backspace over A] Ee space... As you can see, it is really very tedious.

Such was the working of my brain yesterday when a program on my computer kept freezing up. As a result, I spent a better part of the day repeating Control+Alt+Delete while I shut down the offending program and restarted it. It grew into a sing-song in my head quite similar to "Three Blind Mice": Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫. It was catchy, and I hummed it to myself while bobbing my head to the beat down the hallway.

The telephone was ringing when I returned to my desk. I picked up the phone to say my usual "Good afternoon! Schmutzie speaking", but I panicked and hit the hold button. All my mouth wanted to say was "Control alt delete! Schmutzie speaking." It was as though my needle had been bounced off a record.

I decided to do what I could to put my brain in the proper groove. With the caller still on hold and Control+Alt+Delete ♫ bouncing through my head, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and wrote down "Good afternoon! Schmutzie speaking". It magically unstuck my tongue, and I managed to stammer Contr... I mean, ahem. Good afternoon! Schmutzie speaking to the caller on the other end of the line.

I was one happy crazy person when I refilled my psych med prescription later that afternoon, let me tell you.

It will take a couple of days for my mind to sort itself out, if not my body (cross your fingers), so, until then, I will be bopping along to the latest upbeat melody "Control Alt Delete" by Schmutzie and the Lost Serotonins: Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫ / Control+Alt+Delete ♫.

Control! Alt! Delete!