Day 4 :: Jen :: Lab Rat Torture

I hit a low point recently. Kicking goals! The Scientists kept me awake after everyone else was asleep, and I’d been woken before the others as well, so I was utterly exhausted and incapable of keeping my eyes open, let alone writing. It is very frustrating when your waking hours are unproductive – if I could work or even read I wouldn’t mind, but the body has limits. The body is brilliant at passive resistance and it turns out it is very difficult to reason with jelly.Finally unable to stay conscious sitting, I paced the corridor until I was allowed to go to sleep with my electrodes. I am definitely getting a better understanding of why sleep deprivation is commonly used as a torture technique. It’s incredible to discover how weak the will actually is in comparison to the demands of the corpus.
Despite feeling well rested, this wake period’s only been mildly productive. I have been drawing, though not as much, and have been adding little bits and pieces to my story. There is a certain miniaturisation happening in both forms – my drawings are bordering on obsessiveness. More impressively I have invented a new literary form which I will call ‘Data collection poetry’. Scientist Jinzhe slipped this in with everybody else’s paperwork earlier. My favourite art works in here have been these little situational pieces. It’s interesting to watch us all scheme up ways to mess with the authoritative and sometimes absurd language of science. I feel like a Rat of NIMH.

We are developing our repertoire of in-jokes and common enemies, and the PVT is still universally loathed, so social cohesion is good. But moods are starting to drop. I don’t know how far away we are from I Can’t Google The Name But You Know, That Cannibal Party, but I’m longing for the outside world and a good night’s sleep. My writing ability gets a boost after rest but I’m not experiencing creative highs so much as being amazed by normal functioning. Then the long stretch of mental twilight kicks in and I am at the mercy, not of scientists, but of the dictatorship of my own body.

Jennifer Mills

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post a new comment