The Art of Leisure.

I've lost it.

 The art of leisure obviously.

Because of reasons I won't get into (not right now, I'll talk about it in a few months - it's a story that is full of hilarity with a small dose of horror) I don't have a job.

Hell yeah, I thought on Monday. This is glorious. I can do whatever I want.

Brilliant, I thought on Tuesday. I'm going to sit and home and revel in doing nothing.

I need to be productive, I thought on Wednesday. I will start writing A Book and I will clean the house from top to bottom (which just goes to show how desperate I was for something to do.)

Today I will grocery shop, I said to myself on Thursday. And I will continue to write My Book. I spent the entire day watching Downton Abbey but I actually did write.

Unfortunately, I also had a panic attack. I didn't realise it was a panic attack because I was relaxed and watching Downton Abbey. Suddenly, I noticed that there was a small, sharp pain with every beat my heart took.

I sent my brother a message on Skype. He told me to go to an ER. Then I messaged Mawii. She said the same thing.

"I'll go in the evening if it isn't better," I said.

"You might be dead by then."

I really should have been more careful when choosing my friends.

The pain changed then. It was just my chest, or my heart, that was paining continuously - not with each beat. My left arm started feeling heavy and then these sharp pains started cropping up. First on my shoulder blades, then to the left side of my chest.

I called my mother. She told me to call Dr. Vatsa.

So I called Dr. Vatsa, described the symptoms, and was informed it was a panic attack.

"A panic attack?" I said incredulously. "But I wasn't feeling panic when the pain started. I'm only feeling it now."

"It's quite common to not feel panic before an attack starts. It feels like a heart attack and then you start panicking and then the pain gets worse and the panic gets worse and - are your palms sweaty?"

I looked at my palms and informed her they were.

"There you go. It's a panic attack. Don't worry. It just manifests as a heart attack sometimes."


And then my mother called again and told me to do these breathing exercises she always rambles on about - ever since she started yoga - and unfortunately, they helped. There'll be no shutting her up after this.

It took a couple of hours and lots of 'emptying my mind' and it went away.

Dr. Vatsa told me that it was because I had nothing to do.

"I love having nothing to do," I said incredulously. "I thrive on it."

"No, you miss work."

So then my sense of self got completely fucked, obviously.

On Friday, I greeted the morning with determination. I was going to continue writing The Book. Five chapters already and the rest outlined. I got to seven chapters before collapsing on the sofa with beer and moaning occasionally.

I tried reading, I didn't feel like reading.

I tried watching tv shows, nada.

So I just lay there and felt sorry for myself. I was going to have friends over, but I was still too busy feeling sorry for myself, so I cancelled and continued to revel in self-pity, staring blankly at a wall, occasionally sipping on flat beer.

And then I ate a lot of junk food and I went to sleep. (I've been doing nothing except eat the past ten days. Three weeks ago people were telling me I was looking skinny. Now I am being described as 'healthy'. This is not helping the misery.)

Today is Saturday and I am being rebellious and listening to Sunday Morning. I usually only play that on Sundays because it fits the appropriateness of things but to hell with that. I am also giving up on My Book because I was usually stoned when I re-read it and therefore laughed hysterically and thought I'd finally found something worth working on.

But I just read it for the first time when sober and it's so boring I want to gauge my eyes out.

So now, I will stop wasting time, and send my portfolio out, get a damn job, and go back to working life.

Being on holiday somewhere else is different from being on holiday at home. I thought I would love having nothing to do, but I hate it. Even my usual leisure activities no longer hold pleasure.

It's kind of like when someone wants to have sex with you, really wants to, and makes it obvious. And even if you're sex-starved and know you can tap them anytime you want, you won't.

It's sad because I always thought I could perfect the art of leisure given the opportunity. But I can't. I don't like having nothing to do when I actually have nothing to do. I only like having nothing to do when I have something to do and I'm not doing it.

I am deeply disturbed because this week has made me realise that I am not who I thought I was and I will have to re-examine my life perspective completely. I have spent fucking twenty-four years already examining it.

Trust me, it was not fun.

Most people thrive on happiness and joy.

I thrive on misery and self-pity and self-delusion.

So there's a silver lining then.

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