I cannot sleep. This is not an explanation for late night posting or a definition of the moment, but a truism. I am not a true sufferer. Many have far worse forms of insomnia. Once asleep, I stay as such. Some wake frequently, some wake early and cannot return to it. I wouldn’t trade my regular trouble in shutting my eyes for either other problem. I am not a sufferer, because mild annoyance is something one suffers, not a thing one suffers from.
No one simply has a disease. This is false. All afflictions are simply had. There is nothing simpler than a threat to one’s existence. Simple is not, for its lack of complexity, a thing one can bat away like an imagined moth. Knives are simple. Bullets are simple. Pointy sticks, heavy rocks, and sudden falls are all simple. Simple is a deadly thing made all the more so for its directness. No Rube Goldberg of mouse wheels and jalopy gears to gum up and go wrong. Rather instead, just so. But simple is thought, by the simple, simplistic, or simpleton, to be underwhelming. To inaccurately describe the speaker’s personal and unique view of the world. Hence, staphylococcus is suffered rather than had. Ailments are some terrible othered thing forever burdensome to those afflicted and those who’d speak of them.
Therefore, no one describes unpleasantries simply. Everyone is a sufferer. Be it cancer or a toothache or mild recurrent gastroenteritis, he suffers from it. She suffers from allergies. He suffers from tinnitus. They suffer from separation anxiety.
To simply have these things is too harsh to contemplate, the language at once too clinical and too lurid. Too busily gory and to existentially spartan. Too not special enough.
So, wizened and awake at half to four, writing a semi-amusing, semi-magniloquent, post, I’m not suffering. I’m not tortured. I’m not even uncomfortable. I’m just… unasleep. Nothing more. Same such can be said of most afflictions, even those fatal. They are what they wring and nothing more. Some things force themselves to the center of one’s focus, some things render suffering, but one needn’t go in search of them. They’ll be unavoidable, should they be at all. And whether they be or not they be, why would one wish to elevate them? Art is not suffering anymore than coughing is a cold. Art may sometimes be the result or the ameliorative to pain, but sometimes it’s just the tickle at the back of one’s throat he must reach before he can comfortably rest.