There are these times, these days and hours, wherein ones very soul seems suddenly to have gone dull, enveloped in an inexplicable though not the less pervasive sense of drudgery. It feels either that you cannot wake up or that you have finally awakened. You find yourself in your car, on the road, radio playing tunes from the 70s, the same road, the same car, going to the same places, and the old world washes over your shoulders, bends your back forward in the flow.
And suddenly you can barely continue. You feel like pulling over to the side of the road. Where were you going, and why? Is that the same beggar on the corner there? The same as yesterday and the day before? The same cardboard sign? And there, just ahead, the supermarket, the Starbucks, the Burger King, the video store.
It has all crawled inside you, curled up next to your liver, toes poking one of your lungs. What happened? I was feeling fine, and then . . .
You find yourself alone, so alone that this state of only- ness inside you has grown its own identify, separate yet the same--you are known by it, it is known by you. The presence of the thing is suffocating, overbearing.
Jean Paul Sartre, in one of his novels, called it nausea.