After class on Tuesday, I rode my bike along the hilly, twisty streets of C’ville, looking for the address of the small zendo. It was located in the dark basement of a tiny little house near the University. I was a bit sweaty from riding, and wearing jeans, and as I crossed my legs to sit, I felt gross and uncomfortable.

As I sat, a strange symphony erupted in my head. Really. Crashes and clangs and weird tones, dissonant yet melodic. It was very distinct–so distinct that for a brief moment I wondered if the others could hear. My brain was full of white noise. And it was loud as shit, cranked up to full volume. I decided to simply listen to it, amazed that my mind could conjure such elaborate sonic constructions. The noise settled down eventually, and my breathing evened out as my eyes adjusted to the dark room. The bell was rung. I was on my bike again, riding home up the last, steep hill, the pink clouds edging up close to the distant mountains.

My brain has been bliztkrieg’d, shocked and numbed by this sudden onslaught of technical readings, impossible assignments, and impossibly high expectations. My jaw is clenched. I work on projects in my dreams. My head is full of metallic screeching, machinery churning, gears grinding. Good God, and I was considering staying on for my PhD.