Some nights, my eyes pop open around 2 a.m. That signals my brain to start thinking. And thinking. One thought leads to another that leads to another and to yet another. Then, I can’t get back to sleep.
So, I clamber out of bed, grab a fleece blanket, head to the family room, and read. When I straggle to bed an hour and a half later (or sometimes two hours later) I instantly go to the land of Nod. (And belligerently wake up at 5:15 a.m. because I haven’t had more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep.)
I wish my brain was less tumescent at times like this.
Tumescent [too-mes-uhnt] is an adjective that means exhibiting or affected with many ideas or emotions; teeming. Teeming with ideas. A plethora of thoughts. That perfectly describes what my brain does on a rather regular basis during the wee hours of the night.
Teen-aged girls are often tumescent — teeming with many emotions. One moment they are sublimely happy. The next, they are in an abyss of despair.
Tumescent also means pompous and pretentious, esp. in the use of language. Bombastic. This could describe politicians, professors, or narcissistic people. Shysters, too. Humble people don’t seem to have any problems with being tumescent.
If you work in a research and development department, it’s great to have a tumescent mind. But only if it is tumescent between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.!