Standing up and sitting down is not supposed to be this difficult. When I stand the pressure against my head makes me feel like falling to the ground. My legs are taut and there is a strange vibration in my shoulders. When I sit down there is a similar pressure exerted upon the bulb of my head. It is as if a divine hand is trying to press me deep into the ground beneath my feet. When I do stand up and the dizziness has passed I am able to walk quite normally however I am often weary that I will trip or fall. In public I am often mistaken as being drunk and or demented because I find it difficult to walk in a straight line and I often trip. When I get to dizzy- I push myself into a corner where I lean my shoulders against a wall for stability. Sometimes standing on my head is helpful- but when I do this in public I notice that I scare people.
I have battled against gravity most of my life. Ever since I was a teenager I have been aware of an impossible weight that has burdened not only my soul but also my physical body. When I was seventeen I lost a beloved girlfriend because she decided that I was a freak. I would stay in bed for weeks afraid of this pressure that was always causing me to dissociate from my environments. When I walked around I would often have to use the stolidity of walls to garner the equilibrium that I needed to carry on. I was much younger then and I did not realize that gravity was the cause of my ennui. I thought that it was some kind of brain tumor that was causing my physiological disturbances and I was certain that death was just around the corner.
For years I have practiced counting each step. I am hypervigilant about each step I take- noticing every degree and angle that I place my feet in. Fighting against gravity involves the utilization of certain mental capabilities that most of us take for granted. I can not walk and talk on a cell phone or listen to an ipod. Instead I have to be alert and exert effort against the gravitational forces that seek to destroy me. For the past few months the pressure of gravity hanging itself upon me has caused me multiple sleepless nights in which I spend the majority of the night doing laps around my refrigerator. When I have the mental acumen I will lean my head against the kitchen wall and while standing, I will read a book. I will spend hours reading in this position until the ringing in my ears grows to loud or the pain in my neck becomes intolerable.
There is a Gravitational Equilibrium Center a few hour drive from my home that my wife wants me to visit. You stay at the facility for a week and spend eight hours a day in a Gravitational Flow Device that is supposed to balance out the bodies electromagnetic field and reverse the negative symptoms of gravitational pull. I had a brief email exchange with a middle aged woman who suffered from a similar ailment as I. Nausea, dizziness, palpitations, tremendous pressure and chest constriction were a daily part of her life. She told me that the Gravitational Flow Device changed her life. Now she lives on earth rather than feeling like she is battling to stay above the earth. I have thought about going but I have become so used to fighting against gravity that I am afraid of what I would become if I did not have to fight this battle. I mean, what would I do with myself if I did not have to count every footstep? How would I remember that I was alive if every time I sat up or sat down I did not have to feel tremendous pressure? In a way fighting against gravity is a blessing- without the struggle I might be normal.
Last night my wife found me at three in the morning standing on my head while reading Tolstoy’s short story “The Death Of Ivan lliych.” She looked at me like the freak that I am and said “I don’t understand how you can live like this?” before she went back to sleep. All day today while I was suffering through various fits of dizziness and dissociation I thought about her rhetorical question. Why do I want to continually struggle against gravity? Why not go and spend a week in the gravitational Flow device and become normal? The only answer that I have been able to come up with that I can fully accept as legitimate is- I have become attached to my “dis-ease.” Fighting against gravity gives me meaning, it defines who I am and it gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I have taken on the weight if the world- and this makes me feel like I have a purpose.