Ah, delirious Delirium, one of the Sandman’s sisters in the Sandman series of graphic novels.
DELIRIUM 1. A state of temporary mental confusion and clouded consciousness resulting from high fever, intoxication, and shock characterized by anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, delusions, and incoherence. 2. A state of uncontrolled excitement or emotion.
So says my ancient (1982) copy of The American Heritage Dictionary. For an updated definition on my birthday in 9 months you could send me a new dictionary. Just throwing that out there.
Who among us has not experienced delirium, especially that intoxication one. Who? Me? And people wonder why I don’t drink anymore.
There’s high and low delirium. High is when my novelette Hell Cop: Sneaker had 146 downloads in 3 days when it was free for the Kindle from Amazon. Now a 146 downloads is barely a drop in the proverbial 5 gallon bucket of the e-book world. But 146 of something is better than a zillion of nothing. I was positively giddy as I stared at the report, counting along with the numbers. Two, even three, an hour! Ah the delicious intoxicating delirium of low expectations met.
Low is now, as I try to write a sequel to my An Accidental Vampire story which is doing well (the next step up from barely a drop) as an e-story. Like the vampire it’s about, it’s kicking ass (mine) and searching for names (All those 17th Century French people weren’t named Smith? Who knew?) I have a good start and I know the ending, it’s all that stuff in the middle that’s giving me an anxious, finger twisting, typing incoherent, delirium of failure. I mean, how hard can it be for a Young Blood vamp to find the murderer of a Duchess?
Love is high Delirium. Or low depending on which end of the relationship you’re on. Are you at that point where you bump into things, ignore your friends, and generally walk about in a daze of happy delirium with pictures of your sweet Honey Bun dancing in your head and you can’t wait to feel them in that intimate way unique to you two of all people on Earth?
Or, are you in that low delirium state of having been dumped where you bump into things, ignore your friends and generally walk about in a daze of sad, painful, disillusioned, angry delirium, and ripped up pictures of that lousy, lying, bitch/bastard beat against the inside of your skull, and the only thing you want to feel is either your hands around sweet Honey Bun’s neck or that whiskey burn in your throat, or the blissful nothing of head to pillow and the blankets pulled over your head?
Which ever level you’re at, wait, don’t do anything stupid, especially those of you in the high delirium state, and it will all be better in the (some future) morning. Unless your (temporary?) bout of delirium causes some nasty form of Destruction, (next post) in which case you’re screwed and you might as well settle into Despair (last post.) Unless, Destiny, (next next post) should you choose to accept it, has something else in store for you.
What if somebody did you wrong (broke your heart, broke your bank, broke your psyche) and rendered you suicidal? You were about to martyr yourself to your sad delirium when you realized that the only action that would make life worth living would be to destroy (murder the bitch/bastard!) the person who wronged you. And you do, and you get caught. Can you claim self-defense? Compare and contrast the two obvious sides of the question in a gripping, can’t put it down, fictional form. Extra credit if it gets made into a movie.
What if you were in a blue funk delirium brought on by disappointment, failure, loss, humiliation or any of the thousand other things that might bring on such a state of Why me? or What now? And then, you saw the future. Not some daydream or hypnosis induced fantasy – The Real Thing. You were happy and successful and… and.. HAPPY. You had everything you wanted – except it came at the expense of someone you knew. A friend, a family member, maybe that nice man down the block who always said “Hi” and had returned your new puppy when it got lost. All you had to do was carry on as usual and you were gold and they were fools gold. They wouldn’t die or anything so severe, but as you went up, they went down. You could change it, but that big Happy wouldn’t happen. What would you do? Something? Nothing? Or try and finagle a compromise? What would make you happy?
I’m getting delirious trying to come up with ideas that haven’t been done a 100 times before, like going through strange adventures then finding out “It’s all a dream.” Or finding out the strange stuff was real and the surreal boredom you thought was your life is actually your delirium, a refuge from all the strangeness. Sort of a reverse Walter Mitty effect. Or a strange person touches you and you experience a time of incoherent hallucinations and when you wake up you’re some – body, where, time – else. Or when you wake up you’re part of an unrotten Alien Zombie undercover army bent on taking over the world one bite at a time. clichés like that.
So, enjoy, or at least accept, your delirium, embrace it, wrap yourself up in it, because you never know if it might be the highlight of your life. Just to leave you with a pleasant thought.
An historical delirium of Vampires awaits my attention. Until Destruction comes, don’t let any strangers bite you.