I coaxed my focus away from an empty daydream and turned my desk clock to face me, 03.43am. I sighed. Fourteen hours until my thesis deadline. I’d been awake for 2 days straight, finishing the references and drafting a conclusion, finding myself more frequently than not, held hostage by micro sleeps. My thoughts falling adrift for a moment, seemingly, only to discover that I had been staring into space, my mind lost in a vacant vacuum, no recorded thoughts, for nearly half an hour at a time. I wondered to myself if this is what it feels like for Buddhist monks when they achieve a deep meditative state. Have I accidentally mastered the art of meditation through my catatonic fatigue?
One morning last week I made my usual trundle down the stairs, wearing my pyjama substitutes (an old painting top and some oversized joggers), filled the percolator from the boiling water tap, spooned in my favourite blend of subscription filter coffee and walked to the bathroom. As I washed my hands I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror only to be genuinely surprised by my appearance.
Was that really me?