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Attention Span

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             Experiments lie half-completed around 221b, the flames of a Bunsen burner still on, the liver soaking in isopropanol lying abandoned on the counter, the bacterial samples from a recent autopsy forgotten in a small petri dish under the microscope.

            Boring. It was all so boring and couldn’t hold Sherlock’s attention for long. Couldn’t make him forget the buzzing of his brain, couldn’t make him stop having one thought lead to ten others, couldn’t consume him enough to push away the caustic speed of his Mind, the Mind tearing itself apart from the inside out. So many ideas, hypotheses, conclusions and inspirations bounced around at the same time, and it was so hard to keep track of each one but they were all so interesting or at least seemed so until he would entertain one for too long. Then the thought would dull, the experimental high would wane, and ten more thoughts would pop up to take their place.

            So he abandoned everything, accepting inefficiency over the prolonged torture.       

            Sherlock itched for something to calm him, for the silky smoke of a cigarette to lift the compression he felt in his chest, to ease the cacophony in his head with the smooth rhythmic articulation of motion that came with each measured drag.

            (And he also longed for his white mistress, the powder that flew through his veins and stimulated (shattered) his brain into fragments so small he couldn’t entertain the billions of thoughts even if he tried so he’d float in a warm sea of calm and euphoria until he came back down, only to be brought upagain by another prick in the arm and another chemical crossing of the blood-brain barrier.)

            But that was off limits now, by order of Her Majesty Mycroft. And if Sherlock was ever going get The Work he needed to forsake his snowy White Witch.

            And God how he needed The Work. Because he can remember in his youth when there was neither the Queen nor The Cases, and he had always been in this state of constant A to B to Z back to Q thoughts. Doctors had given it labels and prescribed him medication, children had ostracized and despised him (delete delete delete because sentiment was rising and he couldn’t add emotions to this destructive symphony for fear of imploding).

           The Work gave Sherlock The Focus, and The Focus blotted out all this distracting extraneous noise that his brain incessantly chattered to itself. The Focus cut clean through all the clutter and gave him rigid hard facts, gave him logic and the scientific method. Occum's razor for his brain. 

            Sherlock needed it, craved it like the toxic chemicals he also desired.

            The tea Sherlock was holding had grown cold even though he could have sworn that he had only brewed it moments ago. Time was strange because there never seemed to be enough of it for all the things he wanted to do, but he was also aware of how inefficiently he was spending the time he had. And the uselessness made him angry, and the anger made him anxious, and he felt like tearing at his skin and pulling at his hair if only the external stimulus would draw him out of the prison of his mind and into the realistic realm around him.

            Everything was wrong and chaffed at Sherlock’s mind like nails on a chalkboard. He wanted solitude but also knew that being around John would help. He wanted to run in circles but also didn’t have the fortitude to stand up off the couch. He wanted to finish something, if only for the satisfaction of finishing, but he couldn’t decide what to finish and so just let that be for the moment because focusing too much on that problem was really outside of his mental capabilities at the moment.

            It all made him want to scream.

            The doctors had called it a deficit, which really did not make sense to Sherlock given that the definition of deficit was a lack of something, except this diagnosis seemed to be adding and adding inside him: adding thoughts, adding anxiety, adding depression and anger and impulsivity and didn’t actually depreciate anything.

            Except control, maybe. Maybe it was a deficit in control.