Daily Archives: August 6, 2018


The thing about apotonia is that you feel like you’re not really there at the time but it’s a particularly vivid memory afterwards, much more vivid and lasting than if you had just felt normal.

Apotonia is obviously (to people familiar with the Meccano set of word parts) a word made of two Greek pieces: apo–, from ἀπο ‘off, away, from’, and –tonia, from τόνος ‘tone, condition’. There are plenty of words in English containing one or the other of these (often the –tonia shows up as –tonic, as in catatonic, pentatonic, and gin and tonic). In this word, they come together… to stand apart.

I hope that you all have experienced apotonia more than once in your lives. I’m not saying that it’s a wonderful experience, but not having experienced it is a sign of a life lived so far from the edges that when at last you do find yourself at an edge, it may destroy you utterly. Apotonia is a sign that you have gotten into a situation where you are… outside yourself. Not beside yourself; that just means you’re very upset. Apotonia is not upset. Upset is like thrusting your head into the swirl of a flushing toilet. Apotonia is like watching yourself on TV as you flush the toilet. Continue reading