In the summer of 1997, after my sophomore year of high school, I took a bonus Spanish class at my high school which sought to provide education in not only the Spanish language but also aspects of culture and cuisine for Spain and Latin American countries. As part of that effort, our teacher had us perform skits (one of which I wrote about an asylum where the inmates were mistreated by abusive authorities), as well as eat foods like gazpacho (which I found rather revolting), and watch Spanish-language films and listen to Spanish-language music. One of the movies that we watched that summer was a film by Pedro Almordovar called “Mujeres Al Borde De Un Ataque De Nervios” (Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown), in which an anxiety-ridden woman who has just been left by her lover has to deal with a crazy and complicated situation whose complications and resolution depend in part on barbiturate-laced gazpacho. The film is notable for starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz before their breakthroughs in American cinema  and the film was deservedly acclaimed by critics.
Sometimes I feel that my life has a sort of a cinematic quality to it, and I am not entirely sure if it is a good sign or not that my life resembles a black comedy about stress and anxiety and the worst sort of timing and dumb luck possible. As I write this, it is after midnight and I cannot sleep because I have too much on my mind. So, as is often my fashion, I am trying to write it out so that I feel less stressed out about it and so that I might be able to get some sleep before I have a lot to do tomorrow. To be fair, not all of the stress involves me personally, but as someone who tends to feel a heavy weight when those around me are suffering, I tend to feel a great deal of anxiety and concern that is not mine, even if my own life gives me enough to be concerned and anxious about. All too easily my sleep suffers when too much is on my mind, which generally means that I have to write matters out to feel more at peace with my world and the situations within them.
To give at least a small sample of some of the matters on my mind, tomorrow I start training for a new job. Like courtship, I find the search for stable and remunerative employment to be immensely stressful and anxious. In general, I tend to be anxious about being liked and respected, about finding stability and success and growth and advancement, and about being able to successfully make and maintain a good impression and overcome my nerves. Whenever I am on the verge of some particularly momentous activity, I tend to be so hyped up and anxious about it that sleep flees from my tired and weary eyes because my mind is racing with so many thoughts and possibilities. Starting a new job is just one of the many experiences that is full of stress and anxiety where I find it difficult to relax. Unsurprisingly, travel is another one of those experiences as well; at least it has been for more than a decade now.
As if that were not enough to stress me out, I actually have a date planned for tomorrow night right after my first day of training. To be fair, this is one of those “friendly dates” with someone whom I have known for years who is a friend I respect for her wise counsel and compassionate personality, but despite this, even such a date as that is something that I tend to find at least a little bit anxiety-inducing. Still, hopefully I will feel a lot more peaceful and relaxed afterward, as having good friends to chat with and bond with is something I always appreciate. For the same reason I hope I will be able to feel relaxed after I write this to be able to sleep well and soundly. A man can dream, I suppose, if he can fall asleep in the first place.
It should be noted that “Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown” is not a very good translation of the title. A better translation would probably be “Women On The Verge Of A Panic Attack.”