Because sometimes your brain forgets which end of the body it’s in and becomes a bit of an asshole.
My brain is a magnificent machine. It has the ability to remember and create, to learn and inspire. But just like my mobile phone, it usually occupies itself with images of cats, click-bait articles or the Pin Ball song from Sesame Street.
And that’s not all my fault. I constantly try to keep it up to date with the news, learning new languages, reading stimulating books and taking it for walks to forests and other calming environments.
My brain waits. It waits until I feel safe, until I am completely unaware and calm – nothing is happening at all – then it whispers. Whispers a quiet thought so dark or ridiculous I’ll spend the next half hour trying to determine whether or not I’m a psychopath or insane. Why? Because it’s a jerk:
1. When I’m showering
Oh yeah, this is nice. It’s warm, you can have a bit of a sing-song, all the stress of the day can melt away. That’s right. Wash you hair. Close your eyes.
But not for too long because, you know, demons. Demons that live in the bathroom, in the mirror or behind the shower curtain and are waiting specifically for you to close your eyes before they attack because that’s how that works.
2. When I’m on my way to work
“This coat is so warm. Wait. Is this all that I’m wearing?” That’s right. More than once I have been on the tube going to work and ended up worrying that I’m actually naked under my coat because I was too sleepy to realise I needed to put on clothes.
3. When I’m at work
Big meeting? Deadlines? Nope. How could you possibly think about that when your brain has just realised that Jesus said backwards sounds like ‘sausage’ or that the word bed looks like an actual bed. Or that the word “lol” looks like someone drowning and asking for help.
Oh. My. God. The Johnson and Johnson “No Tears” formula? It doesn’t mean “tears” as in crying tears – it means “tears” as in it won’t tear your hair up because words can be spelled the same way and mean different things. Mind. Blown. Can’t work anymore.
Oh look! A ladybird!
4. When enjoying an activity
You’d think that enjoying an activity would keep my brain so occupied it couldn’t possibly come up with anything dark and twisted to make my feel ever so slightly uncomfortable. It marginally detracts from the fabulous time I’m having with a completely irrational fear that though, will most likely not happen, is still probable. Ah Logic. How you have turned against me.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if you fell over whilst ice skating and someone skated past and cut all your fingers off? No. That would be horrific. Worry about that for the rest of this outing. Thank you brain, I will.
That’s okay, I guess I can live without winter activities – I’ll just enjoy a beach holiday!
Ah yes. Enjoying being buoyant in the ocean. Drifting and floating along. Peacefully. How did that Jaws theme song go? Ah yes. That’s right. Enjoy being on full alert the rest of the day.
5. When out for a walk
Walking home during the day: This is such a beautiful graveyard.
Walking home at night: Ah so this is where the zombie apocalypse starts/I’m going to be possessed by a spinster governess from the 18th century
6. When at home
Yes, even for my brain, home cannot be a refuge. See, if I need to go to the kitchen to get my laundry out of the washing machine, that’s fine – because I’m not about to go to bed, I’m doing a chore so ghosts and demons won’t care about me.
However when I’m walking the four steps – literally four steps, I’ve counted – from the bathroom to my room in the dark, this is when demons and ghosts will strike. Obviously. Because I’ve just brushed my teeth and thus are nearly going to bed and those are the rules. Sleepy-time + dark corridor = ghosts.
7. When going to sleep.
Hey you know that thing you don’t want to think about? Let’s think about that on repeat, then I thought it would be fun to think about all the little embarrassing things you’ve done for the past year. On repeat. For an hour.
Oh and once you’ve managed to quieten those thoughts down – remember that scene from insert random clip from scary movie I saw when I was 12 that scarred child me/weird thing I saw on Facebook once about a figure in the shadows/ Reddit thread about one line scary stories.
Yeah. Thanks. Brain. Now I can’t sleep with my back facing the door because if I do and roll over there will be little girl ghost watching me sleep. Obviously.*
*But it’s okay because I tucked myself completely in under the blanket so she can’t get me.
8. When waking up
This is possibly the time when my brain is the biggest possible jerk – yes even more so than the point before this. It’ll let me snooze my alarm because it’s convinced the rest of my body that everything is fine.
“Guys. guys. you can go back to sleep. I’m the brain. I got this. I have a whole internal body clock thing.. I’ll wake everyone up in literally one minute.”
I roll over 20 minutes later feeling suspiciously well rested.
“Oh shit I forgot. But hey at least you’ve been dreaming about peeing and getting up..”
9. What’s that song?
Who cares because the only song you’re going to be hearing for the next three days from when you wake up until the time you fall asleep is that obscure Golden Crumpet ad circa 90’s New Zealand TV.
10. Random flashes of fear
Every time I wear long earrings I suddenly imagine all the ways they’ll get ripped off so I’ll spend the whole day taking them out, and then feeling stupid and putting them back in again. Then a child will get on the tube and I’ll take them out in case it does something. Because children are untrained adults and completely unpredictable.
Or how about the reason why I lock my door? Not because of intruders but zombies. Because the newly risen have no concept of how to work a door handle. They can chase me down a street no problem, but door is a complete mystery.
11. Random flashes of brilliance
What could be worse than whispering some of my greatest ideas at the point of sleepiness that I dream I’ve written it down but actually haven’t?
How about we just remember them in detail now, list entire monologues and intricate ideas when you have no possible means of writing them down – like you’re too busy becoming unintentionally intimate with this man’s right armpit because that is what constitutes commuting – and then – this is the great part – when you go to write them down I’ll go blank and either recall every line from Ghost Busters verbatim or convince you watching YouTube videos for an hour is a better option.
Pretty sure I’d have won a Booker Prize if it hadn’t been for my brain.
(Let me believe this – it keeps me going)
12. What a great date. I’m thinking a winter wedding. What? Too Soon?
This is why I don’t even like to think someone is cute too loudly in my own mind. Why? Because my brain will take “he’s nice” and run so far away with the thought it’ll start planning what our living room will look like. A mix of minimalist with some quirky accent pieces, lord knows I love an accent piece. Not too expensive because the cat(s) will probably break it.
And don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not desperate for affection or a human touch – quite the opposite. So trust me when I say that these quiet little thoughts and images my brain casually paints when I’m not looking only to dash in front of my mind’s eye when I’m in the middle of a very tasking chore makes even me contemplate if I’m secretly Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction.
No brain. You’ve met this person three times and just because he smiles doesn’t mean you’ve got to start preparing where you’re going on holiday together. Heel girl.
Yes my brain is capable of some incredible feats and there are sometimes I sit back and marvel at its abilities to heal, remember and contemplate. It’s the perfect tool to do things like this blog, or the shitty sketches I use to de-stress after work, even to remember the knitting techniques Gran taught me as a child.
But most of the time, it spews the Pinball song from Sesame Street at me.