The night before review, I am in a familiar state of panic-induced productivity: coffee in my left hand, computer mouse in my right, noise cancelling headphones blasting Tame Impala’s Currents at 120 bpm, and blue-light filtering glasses reducing my eye strain. In this ritualistic orchestration of my senses, I’ve entered a mindspace where decisions can be made. Although amazed by how much I always manage to produce the night before a review, I still have to complete six more drawings. Why wasn’t I working this way two days earlier?
I have a habit of procrastinating right up to the last possible moment—I take myself too seriously. I’m sure my peers are only half-listening to my desk crits, and during reviews we are all in the same boat, struggling to stay awake after pulling a late night. However, at reviews there is always a threat of humiliation, a possibility that I will be lambasted by a juror for an improperly scaled toilet or for a missing north arrow in my site plan. Nothing being trivial puts me in a state of decision-paralysis, so instead of working, I rest and untangle my anxieties in my dreams. Most nights I get eight to nine hours of sleep, considered quite luxurious during the week leading up to a review. The other night, however, I woke at 2am to the sound of clicking… is it coming from inside my head?
Click. That’s it. Click. I’ve lost it. Click…Click. I knew I was fragile.
Am I really hearing things? I pace around my bedroom. All is quiet except for this noise that suspiciously sounds like a night of incessant mouse-clicking in studio. I fear I’ve achieved some kind of stress-induced psychosis. I want my sanity back.
The noise is audibly farther away now. Thank god– it isn’t in my head. I take my phone out to record and verify that this is a real noise. My phone blips. The clicking noise is coming from inside the wall, behind my pillow. Something is moving inside the poché. How am I supposed to solve this problem? A mere layer of gypsum plaster separates the critters—likely mice—from where my head lays. The mice are probably also reducing the R-value of the exterior wall. This is unfortunate.
Maybe this is just a bad dream. The clicking finally stops. I have a review to prepare for and should get some rest now. I don’t have the capacity to accept my new neighbors in real life. A soft clicking resumes as I slip into dreams of an infinite system of poché where something nests inside the walls of everything.