Don't You Know I'm Loco, Ese?

People know this about me, it's no secret. Those who know me well have expressed wonderment and caution. Those who don't know me so well are sometimes just baffled.

But what people know about me is: I use my brain. I use it hard. And more often than not, I'm riding that bitch like a Pony Express horse. I Juggle, multitask, and generally perform full-out and at hyper-efficient levels. I have constant output. Sometimes I have so many tasks processing and so many "routes of execution" planned out that even I tire. If I have to process at anything below 75%, I get bored and highly agitated. But I like it that way. Not bored and agitated working/processing at the maximum; pushing cognitive bubbles.

Here's an example from the very present: Even as I type, this essay is about 90% complete in my head and I'm only actually on paragraph three, but it's mostly done (sans edits). I'm also actively and clearly thinking about, in no particular order, my health, a friend's health, the book I'm writing, the album that is in progress, my friendships, the projects I contribute to, board activities, and my family. Plus I'm pondering the photos that Cass just sent, thinking about Betsy's last poem, pondering what I could photograph today, what music I could make, and I'm listening to music (E-Pro by Beck at present). Plus there are txts, emails, IMs, and the like. I also run my own business and manage a household so some degree.

See? Working hard in the membrane. If you read my back history, this is what the "I can see through knots" and "future gifting" logic is based upon. It's all there. Polymath. Competitive cognitive processing.

Functional MRI scans demonstrate that people with superior multitasking performance have higher basal ganglia, anterior cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex, and parietal cortex activity. Every day I am burning my brain so hard for six continuous hours, minimum. I often forget to eat, go outside, or shower. I put such non-efficient tasks off as long as I can while trying to fit increasingly infinite "daily objectives" into the finite constraints of time (time is an asshole). I have more to do than is possible. I realize this, so even in the off-hours, I am thinking about it, planning it, adding tasks, and planning output. From boil to simmer to boil, never off. I would do more if I could.


On Monday, I had a neurological episode.

After rush-writing an essay draft for the book (easy because it was already written in my head), chugging coffee, and listening to the radio, I raced down to a meeting. After the meeting I was sitting down for the second helping of a late lunch and....bftztzzzzzzfft!


After 24 hours in the hospital for observation, CT Scan, echo cardiograph, jugular sonogram, and MRI, it was hypothesized that I had and episode of something called Transient Global Amnesia (TGA). TGA, in short, is the inability to process new information and utilize short term memory functions. But, I knew I was Ty and I found my car and I drove in my car. But something was terribly wrong. Broken, in fact.

One moment I'm happily eating Tandoori chicken when, quite suddenly and without warning, the words on a page of text that I wrote make no sense. Gibberish....bftztzzzzzzfft!

I do not believe that I was literally frightened of dying. We all die one way or another eventually. I'm resolved to that fact (even though I did very specific actions to prevent cardiac death - 81mg aspirin, much oxygen, cooler temps, notes on index card, etc.). But I was terrified that I had reached a new and permanent state of being. Was this how I was going to be now? Forever? Reflecting back, I do believe that I could never have lived that way, not being able to think. I feared that I wouldn't be useful to my friends and family and that I wouldn't be able to produce what I produce; to think as I've come to think. You see, I've reflected on this before, art for me is a race against time to do as much as I can while I can. Of all the "is this the end?" moments I've had, this week's episode was the most profound.

But naval gazing isn't the point of this piece, believe me, save that bullshit for daytime TeeVee talkshows and deathbed confessions. This piece will be all the reflection I plan to present.

The main point is this: I only know one way to live. Everybody is all telling me to "take it easy" and "rest" and "watch TeeVee" and "nap" and shit. No! Don't people read all the shit I tell them? Don't they know who they're asking to rest? This is what I do. This is my thing. Without my thing I'm just a dude in Dockers and a sweater vest drinking shitty office coffee and talking about 30 Rock while trying too hard not to say swear words in an office somewhere. Fearing layoffs and shit. Drifting into Walter Mitty fantasy worlds while in meetings.

I look around and I am so grateful that that wasn't it this time (and, yes, I am also so grateful to everyone for being so concerned and supportive - I really am). So, take it easy? Sit back and reflect on what has been accomplished? Past tense? No! Pedal to the fucking metal, fools! I've got work to do. The good stuff is to come. What has been done to date is just the honing of chops. Doesn't anyone get it?

So to assuage those with fear that I'm "doing too much," I'm gong to make some cutbacks in some areas (dropping the bullshitty things that only waste time and cognitive processing) so I can keep working in what I deem the important areas of my life. So I can keeeeep produuuuucing , man. I promise to "take good care" of myself and live healthy and all that shit. But, I am going to do my thing as hard as I can for as long as I can. What did you fucking think?

So, Transient Global Amnesia? Goodnight, John Boy. The tuck-in. It's not that I don't want to discuss it further because of denial or some shit. I fully accept and will do things to try to prevent health concerns from interfering with the master domination plan again (meds, "rest," and better efficiency techniques). But I'm not going to keep explaining something that isn't explainable. My neurologist said, "You've lost five hours of your life. That's it."

What, you expected me to curl up all fetal and whimper? The fuck outta here, I've got stuff to do. You're either with me or you're with the terrorists.


The end.