Story #15 – Byte abuse

It wasn’t the first time I had woken up in the middle of the night thinking about it. To be honest, I’d been sleeping terribly for over a week. All I could think of was to have it. Just a small fix, and then I’d go back to sleep. I know it wasn’t healthy, but I couldn’t do anything about it. In my mind, it wasn’t a physical addiction. My body just needed it.

The kitchen was dark apart from a light that I’d intentionally left on before going to bed. Traces of previous sessions were scattered over the kitchen table. Soda cans and empty energy bar packages took up most of the space. I had come to understand that by adding lots of energy in the form of sugar I was able to sustain the effect a lot longer than I would have without the carbohydrates.

The first part of a session, which I called “the prep phase”, included ssh-ing into a virtual cluster hosted on a remote island outside the coast of The Phillipines. You might call this “early tripping”, but for me it was a means to an end, not the actual thing. What really made me transcend into another mental state was when I started recursing over an infinite enumerable, not knowing if it would ever stop. This state could last for hours, depending on how deep the stack of things were. To bring me down I would branch, commit and push.

The garbage truck outside our house brought me back to reality. I closed my laptop and went back to sleep. Another nightly programming session was over, and I wasn’t proud of it.