This is the third day in a row I woke up thinking I’d buy a 7-day unlimited MetroCard and spend the week bolting all over town. I do this a few times a year.
Today I planned to canvas parts of Throgs Neck and neighboring Bronx areas for (what else?) payphones. But minutes after setting out to do this I changed course, and came back home. I don’t need to accumulate content every single day, though that is exactly what I end up doing. I need more time here, at the desk, sorting out the wheat from the chaff and doing more than just laying it out to dry.
Lately the accumulation comes in the form of bedcam videos. I’ve been using a WYZE CAM to record myself sleeping the past few nights, thinking there must be something I can learn from exploring this foreign part of my life. So far it’s inconclusive but I will say that claims I’ve heard from others that I sleep thrash seem to be true. I would think it’s even worse with someone else present, since I always found sleeping in the same bed with another person to be unnatural, and anxiety-producing.
Why is it such a cultural bedrock that loving couples sleep in the same bed? I’ve read that it is a lingering effect of the Industrial Revolution, when people moved from rural areas to more crowded cities. Sharing a bed was a matter of saving space, not some kind of proof that you loved your spouse. I dated one woman who agreed, and we rarely shared a bed overnight. But most others I’ve known and known of consider sleeping separately a sign of dysfunction.
I was the subject of a professional sleep study once but learned nothing from it. I simply could not get to sleep with a zillion sensors and wires affixed to my head and body, not to mention the fact that the place where this study occurred was noisy as hell.
I had used the WYZE to record continuously but last night I tried the motion sensor approach, which I thought would only record my nocturnal movements. The goal was to lessen the seemingly endless increase of digital accumulation that floods my mind sometimes just thinking about what a squalid, miasmatic sprawl of stuff I’ve produced.
Alas, the camera is not able to do that very effectively in night vision mode. From previous videos I know I move a lot more than got captured in motion detect mode. I don’t move constantly but I frequently twitch and gesticulate in ways that make it look like I am wide awake. WYZE did not catch very much of that, though its motion detection seems to work quite well in better lighting.
In advance of thinking I’d be out and around, and with the weather quite a bit warmer than before, I hung up the disintegrating Columbia brand jacket I’ve worn for about 6 years and brought out the old Rothco Outback Vest someone gave me a long time ago. It has a billion pockets. The owner of a bar gave it to me after someone left it there and never came back to get it. People comment that’s it’s dorky but I’m no fashion statement, never was. I also disagree, finding it neither dorky nor beautiful, just some innocuous in-between.
But here I am, back at the desk, grasping at straws in search of something productive or meaningful to accomplish with this precious gift of a day. I posted another “Payphones Then and Now” piece to the payphone site, and expect more of that to come.