I feel so tense lately. Oh? how so? I’m deep in an insomnia spell right now,
that’s really what’s affecting me. This morning I woke up not sure if I had
spent any time asleep at all. I was lying still, pretending to
sleep for hours and hours. it felt like I was awake
for a million years. I’m sorry to hear that, I thought you were feeling
a little better recently. No, not really, I’m just trying to
complain about it less. All night I was so alert
sleep felt totally impossible, and now today I can barely
function because I’m so tired. But as soon as I try to fall sleep
tonight it will switch again. What’s wrong with me?
How do I fix this? You’re overthinking it. Well, obviously. I know that’s the problem.
I can’t stop thinking. Hey, I’m just trying to help. Sorry, sorry. I know It’s ok. Sometimes turning itself off
is the most difficult thing a mind can do. Yeah. That’s true. I’m better at dealing
with it than I used to be, anyway. I’m more at peace with my not sleeping. Even if I sit there all night, wide awake,
I do get a little bit of rest just by like… resting. What do you think is causing it? Well, sleep has always eluded me.
But lately I feel especially restless. I need to make a change I think. Change is good. the only thing
you can really count on is change. I think I want to go back into the ocean. Wow, really? Yeah. I think about it a lot. A few weeks ago, when I was still sleeping,
I had a vivid dream about being in the ocean. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about it.
I crave the feeling of waves washing over me. It haunts me. Wow. That would be a big change. It’s a completely different life in the ocean. Giving yourself over to the waves,
letting them take your where they will, it’s so freeing. I wish you could experience it. You know I can’t do that. But I’m very happy here.
I wouldn’t want to leave even if I could. I’ve been in this spot for so long
the beach feels like an extension of myself. What do you miss about the ocean
that you can’t find on land? I was drifting for so long before I washed up here. It could have been a thousand years that
I was floating out there for all I know. But time is different on the ocean. When the waves are really churning,
you completely lose yourself, you don’t have a single thought. All of your senses are completely
overwhelmed, maxed out. It’s ego death, pure sensation. It’s sublime. Mmm, I see. Better than sleeping. Yes, precisely. You never fall asleep when the waves are high,
but you don’t need to sleep either, everything becomes one frothy state of being. But eventually the waves do stop,
and there’s complete silence. The water barely moves, there’s no wind,
no anything. And then out of the stillness,
all of your thoughts spring back. They’ve been there all along, inaccessible to you,
quietly blooming in the background. In that time it feels like every
new thought is an epiphany. But I’m sure eventually the rush fades,
and you’re back with your demons. Whatever chased you off the beach
will follow you into the ocean. That’s true. Very true. It’s certainly not always poetic on the ocean. There’s a lot of time stuck in the middle,
when the waves are too turbulent to focus on anything, but not so turbulent as to experience
that sensory overload I described. That’s the bad part. It’s brutal. And it can last a long long time. You have no agency out there. You’re completely beholden to the whims of the ocean. Do we have any agency here? I think we do. It’s a sedentary life,
but we still have choices we can make. I don’t move so much any more, but I had to make
the choice to climb this pillar, for example. It took me a long time to get up it.
But I love it here. I never want to leave. You’re lucky. It’s a great spot up there. It’s hard to imagine you anywhere else. It’s not luck, it was hard work. This was long before you washed up on the beach.
It was a different place then. There were a lot more things living here then,
and most of them wanted this spot. I had to do some stuff I’m not proud of to get here. You said change is the only thing we can count on,
but don’t you ever think of leaving your pillar? of changing yourself? I am changing. Even now.
We talk every day, I couldn’t count how many years the
two of us have been talking but even this conversation right now
is changing me a little bit. it’s never the same conversation twice. My seat doesn’t change, but the world around me is changing all the time. Plants grow and die and grow and die.
New things like you wash up on the shore. There’s a lot to pay attention to. A lot to absorb. That’s a nice thought. It’s true, in many ways the beach
is more dynamic than the ocean. More to experience. But the ocean is alive in ways that you can’t imagine. It’s simultaneously one big wave, unfathomably big,
and at the same time billions of small waves. It’s being embraced by the infinite. Or suffocated by it. Ha, fair enough. When I was younger, and still living
down there in the sand, I was briefly pulled out by the tide.
It was terrifying for me. I never experienced the enlightenment you describe. That’s why I grew myself into these bricks,
so it wouldn’t ever happen again. Maybe you didn’t give it enough time. I didn’t have time. Unlike you
I’m mostly made of cardboard. I’m very fragile. I thought I was going to be
ripped to shreds out there. Oh, of course. That’s so
insensitive of me. I’m sorry. No, it’s ok. I like being made of cardboard. You’re beautiful. Oh, thank you. So, what’s stopping you?
Would you really leave? Who knows?
I do love it here. The truth is I need to look
within to find peace, If I left I’d probably bring my
malaise with me as you say. And then of course there’s you…
I wouldn’t want to leave you behind. As much as I may crave going back,
There’s nothing like you out there. Hey, you too. You’re the best looking thing on this beach. Well, second best. That’s sweet. I can’t stop thinking about riding those waves though.
It’s tantalizing. but once I get in the water, even a little swim,
I’d be pulled out to sea, no coming back. no way of knowing how long it would be
before I wash up onto another shore. Maybe I never would, just keep floating forever. That’s such a scary thought. Is that really what you want? Who knows what I want.
I know I don’t. I think for now I just need to be
better at appreciating what I have. We have a nice life here. It’s such a beautiful evening. Right now that cool breeze is all I need.