ivaquexuta undertakes a different rhythm of the day. They work through the night and sleep from 6am – 3pm. It’s a timing that feels best for them, rather than an externally imposed night-shift. This is the period of productivity that flows naturally. We spoke about these rhythms of life over Skype; he in Catalonia and I in Switzerland. Naturally, the context of COVID19 came up slightly. Unavoidable so it seems, though we managed to not have it dominate the conversation.
Our talk traversed through these daily rhythms, to the role of love, feminism and substances – and perhaps my favourite part – reconsidering a ‘day’ past the 24-hour period. Here is ivaquexuta.
Time does not exist, but this is my schedule:
7:00 – 14:30
14:30 – 15:30
Physical exercise and news
15:30 – 16:30
Food and chill
16:30 – 20:30
Walk / Logistics / Care / Socialise
20:30 – 21:30
Food and chill
21:30 – 23:30
00:00 – 06:30
This is my ideal daily routine. Sometimes I make it towards a 48-hour logic, where in the night I research – next morning produce or write until the end of the day – then sleep 12 – 14 hours. I don’t usually take ‘weekends’ that seriously in the traditional sense, but I tend to Day Off AF when I feel like it. Holidays aren’t that interesting IMO.
On Their Rhythm of Life
This rhythm is something I do when I can because I am really not able to function well in the morning. And I use the word “able” consciously. It’s not like I’m lazy, or not able to wake up, or whatever. It’s simply very difficult for an autistic person to deal with light and noise, and even the very cycle of yourself *makes circular gesture across the chest*. It doesn’t match well. So, in the end, when I start to assume this it’s not like I’m just doing the romantic, eccentric bullshit, but it’s something that actually matters. I started to allow myself to do this because usually people would be saying “oh this is unhealthy”, “oh this is crazy”, or in general society doesn’t allow you to make these sorts of schedules if you are not working for yourself.
It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life but lately I’ve been trying to make it as routine as possible because it really is when I work the best. Though sometimes when you are working for a tourist company or in an office, or where ever, and you have to work in the morning, you have no other option. I’m trying to avoid that situation the most. Because in the end it is like a chain – I start my day tired and I really don’t work well until 2 or 3pm. So, at the same time, if I woke up very early, at the moment when I would be mentally great to work, I would be tired. You know? It’s very frustrating because I’m like ‘ok now my mind is working perfectly’ and my body too, but I’m just tired. In the end it’s a very important fight for me because I really function well, more or less with the timings we are doing today. [Ed note: ivaquexuta and I spoke at 3:30pm on Wednesday] Even though it was a bit early I thought, okay let’s just organize it. Generally, this would be the perfect timing for me though.
Preference vs. Need
In the end it’s complicated because it’s not a preference but a need. But most of the world is organized in a way, and culturally will be considering this, as just something you ‘like to do’. It’s one of the reasons I’m very interested in developing this project about post-ableist narratives and autism explained in first person. Because I have lots of ideas I’ve been understanding and applying to myself in recent years and I want to make a product from it. Mainly because I think it will be important from a sociopolitical perspective. I think it’s terrible this ableism is everywhere and undermining the needs of lots of people. And we’re really not aware of that. Even for people who would never consider themselves effected by that, they (ableist agendas) are still operating against you. It feels like I need to finally write down all these things I’ve been doing and thinking and applying to myself, and that’s why I want to find some project about that. I even wrote a title once called ‘I’m Autistic, Fuck You’, which was a humorous and radical approach to that.
Over the past months I’ve been able live to this schedule a lot since I moved to Valencia. My friend is paying the full rent as it is cheaper for them than getting a psychoanalyst. Changing context allows me to remake my life, having people close that function the same way as you do pushes you a lot too. There I can live to this schedule without feeling guilty about it, which sounds stupid but it’s always operating. As in; ‘don’t be so different’, ‘don’t go your own way so much’, and so on, and that’s something that is always limiting me. It’s not even the fault of others. It’s the fact of being in this crazy social ambiance that operates particularly in small towns, community-based societies, rural areas, low-quality democracy (if any) – you know it’s very specific in some ways, and very universal in others. Over the past months I’ve been able to do my natural schedule, and that changes my life. During some periods before, for instance when I was receiving unemployment, I was also able to do it. But then in the end, so much only works in the morning in Spain, or most of the courses you can take have attendance starting in the morning. Or where we met in Berlin at the Saas Fee Summer Institute of Art – I could never have attended that if I was to respect my schedule. It’s a dialectic, and in some ways that is normal because we are social beings, but I just work very well like this.
‘Making It Central’
Now I am in a moment where I am starting to assume that these sorts of things aren’t banal but central to me. And making that, or let’s say allowing me to share that, for instance with you and loved people around, that it’s not that I’m lazy in the morning but that it helps me a lot and that it’s an act of care and respect to make these things central – this is the most difficult part. My whole life I’ve been coping with things and trying to show ‘no, no, no I’m super normal’ as a protection, and it’s sort of a rewriting and looking at yourself. In a way it’s very nice, and in a way it’s a lot of engagement. But also, the reward is great. In the end everything is related of course. Doing this research on ableism and love at the same time helps a lot.
Love, Feminism And Post-Ableism
It’s as though we had this boom on feminism from 2018 or so, and that’s very good, but at the same time it means a lot of new actors are talking about feminism. That’s great too, however many of those are using the word in a very weird way. Only to make individual gains and profits. I mean, I’m a cis man so of course I’m privileged from patriarchy but at the same time I’ve been a feminist for 15 years. And I’m autistic. So, much of the male privilege shit doesn’t operate for me as, socially speaking, I’m treated as a woman is treated. As far as I do not show aggressivity etc. Typical ‘masculine’ traits. There are lots of things that make my personal experience de facto closer to the experience of a woman than of a man, according to the standard patriarchal stuff.
Let’s say I’m sort of very in need of also giving something to this feminist moment, as a man but also from this perspective that is not only about… I don’t know what your perspective is on this – there are some men who are starting to speak about this but it’s only ‘oh yes, we are super guilty and we should shut up’, and it’s like, yes, but this should happen in parallel with other things. Actions. And there are some limits on feminism at the moment in my humble opinion, which aren’t much being dealt with, from my specific personal experience of being objectified and alterised… many experiences that a woman would feel too. I think there is a nice perspective to offer there. This perspective, I feel, is where love, in an open new meaning or reading of it, and post-ableism coincide.
COVID19 As ‘A Massage’
Everything is related, no? On a personal level I’m very much feeling a coincidence with my intellectual moment, let’s say. And that’s why even if I’m not receiving feedback from the open calls I’m applying to, I will keep doing it for now because it forces me to rewrite my ideas frequently. I don’t have the energy to put it into a book now because I need some minimum feedback of ‘yes, this is interesting. Here’s some money to do your shit’. When that minimum thing happens, it will be enough to tell myself ‘okay now I can go there, and there, and there’.
Being able to respect my schedule, waking up at 3pm, is as important to me as it is sending proposals. I’m privileged in this moment because I don’t have to pay rent. More or less, I’m not in a hurry even if I’m very stressed because I never have money and it’s a problem. In a way I’m not in a hurry because everything is developing slowly, but in a coherent direction. You feel very lonely sometimes but in this crisis we are living in now, it’s sort of a massage somehow. And it’s delicate to put it through this sense, if you’re banal-ising or being cynical… I hate how people are being so cynical at the moment. “Ten years ago we said this”, or “the climate crisis is worse than corona” – well if you’re so clever, please use your intelligence for responsibility. There is a sort of ‘nice’ massage thing happening with the COVID19 crisis. Maybe some people will start to understand some things that are part of my everyday experience. After the next 15 days of people not leaving home, most people will be going crazy, and I’ll be like ‘okay who cares. It’s just another day’. This is how many of us live all the time. It could help people understand other lifestyles and other ways of being.
Substances As Regulatory
The use of substances in the daily rhythm are, for me, totally regulatory. For instance, since starting this quarantine thing I haven’t been drinking coffee. For the kind of activity I’m doing it’s too much, too high, so I’ve been using ginger. Cutting fresh ginger and boiling it. It’s a different stimulation, less explosive and more constant. I used to smoke weed but I only use CBD now. If the thing I need to recover from is very big, for example last week I was super non-stop socializing for three days and having to play a public role, so I had to smoke a joint this big *uses hands to do a half meter wide gesture*. And in that I’m using it as an ‘efficiency’ measure – with that joint I can recover in a few hours what would otherwise take days to regather myself from. I vape CBD and also smoke it sometimes, simply because I like smoking.
Advice on respecting your personal rhythm of life? It is difficult to respect them because there are lots of compromises you must make; community related, care, professional things, whatever. … My personal experience is that you want to be able to go to bed knowing that you respected your needs at least a bit. So if you can isolate two or three things that must be done during your preferred times in that 24 hour period, this helps.
In addition to that, I would also advise that it is good to not take the 24-hour period as a given. I’m experimenting with this since I’ve perceived that my natural rhythm, this nocturnal thing, spans more over a 40 – 48-hour perspective than a 24 hour one. I’m naturally more used to this cycle of physical exercise – reading – writing – caring – and leisure. If I apply a ‘two-day logic’, then maybe today I would only read, and tomorrow I would only write, but this is the ‘same day’ – the same ‘box’. This helps me a lot; to think broader than the 24-hour, which is of course the solar cycle, but who cares. It affects you but your perspective can go broader than it. I believe on one hand to isolate the two things that are essential to you – for me at the moment it is physical exercise, skype, and work. Which in fact needs to add a factor of leisure in between skype and work, as skype hypes me up and I need to calm down from it to be able to work. To have these two or three key things in your day, this is what makes the difference. Because even if you can’t control your time (because we have to pay rent or whatever) it allows you to feel like you’re controlling your life.
ivaquexuta’s Playlist For When It’s Dark
- Today I listened the last playlist Teju Cole published.
- I’m also listening to ‘Fans del Sol‘ by Oques Grasses,
- ‘LESS IS MOOR‘ by Zebra Katz, and
- Life is Strange‘s OST, often.