Sunday, 18 October 2009

What Are You Thinking About?……

My mind is one that I constantly have to distract; otherwise I face the consequence of having to listen to the utter drivel that parades around within it, masquerading as my thoughts.

Some of the stuff that goes on in there really does beggar belief. I have no idea where it comes from, but on a daily basis, I am assaulted with musings that wouldn’t be out of place if scrawled on a wall in crayon by a hyperactive toddler. But that's not the worst of it. The worst of it is when I actually allow these thoughts to enter the real world and interact with people. That's when it gets scary.

One night, I was in bed with Kates, and we were both dozing off, when out of the blue I sat up and asked her the age old question that has been spoken by many couples throughout the annuls of history.

“Kate wake up.” I said, shaking her shoulder.

“Wuurgggh muh?” she replied, rolling over and looking at me with befuddled eyes.

“Can you grate an egg?”

“Can you what?” she asked, sleep and annoyance combined in her voice.

“An egg, can you grate one? Would you ever need to?”

“Why are you asking me this at one in the morning?”

“I need to know.” I replied, with urgency in my voice.

“There is something so wrong with you.” This was said in a sigh as she turned over, her back like an advertisement board that read You are clearly an insane man, and I am never sharing my bed with you again.

And she was right. There was something wrong with me. And that something was the almost uncontrollable urge to find the answer to this question. I quickly got my phone out and texted the very same question to a service that apparently can answer anything you ask it. A service that I always imagined with some hope was run by two massive brains in jars, with huge tentacles coming out of them as they quickly tapped the answer out and beamed it back to my phone.

About five minutes later, I got the reply I was hoping for. You could indeed grate an egg, and more importantly, there were many dishes that were suitable for it. (Salads, fish dishes, and one particular Indian dish that I forget the name of. If curious, why not use the text service like I did? But seeing that many of you actually have a life, maybe not?)

Happy with the answer, and with the knowledge that in the morning I could proudly proclaim to my girlfriend that it was a worthwhile question, and in no way was I strange for asking it, I rolled over and tried to sleep.

I get thoughts like these all the time. My mindscape is a minefield for them. They just pop inside my vast empty cranium, and then bat against the sides of it annoyingly like a bluebottle fly trapped behind a window.

If you ever see me gazing wistfully into the distance, looking for all the world like I am weighing up some of the great mysteries of life, never, I repeat, never, ask me what I am thinking about. Because more often than not, I will reply with something like do sharks see in colour, or, can monkeys wear shoes, and that will surely destroy any image of profoundness you may have for me, and also any notion of sanity as well.

I have often been described as a very restless person. Even when sitting down, I am always moving, not in flesh, but in mind. I obsess over things, scrutinize them in great detail, prod and probe until I have a satisfactory conclusion, and then move onto the next topic.

And the worst time for this is bedtime. I suffer terribly from insomnia. It is my burden that I carry with me nightly. And it is also the time when my mind comes out to play with me. Those long dark hours are a breeding ground for my traitorous brain to not start thinking about how lovely sleep is, but instead an ideal opportunity to start bombarding me with inane questions that no right minded human being would ever conceive of. I lie there awake, staring into the shadows of my bedroom, and then a tiny little voice in my head pipes up. A tiny voice I have grown to hate.

Can ants get sad?

If my legs were made of helium, would I have to walk on my hands?

If I cloned myself, would we be friends?

And once those thoughts were in my head, they wouldn’t leave until they had been dissected down to the tiniest detail and a worthwhile summary was found. Then I would look at the clock and find out that it was half three in the morning and I was still wide awake. Then I would start crying.

So my mind is a frightening beast that I have to contain. I try to trick it, lull in into a false sense of security. I read for an hour or so before bed just so it can focus on words and story, to let if rev down like an idling engine. And most occasions, that does indeed work for me. And on other times, it just ends up just racing about like a dog in a blindfold, and no amount of soothing words or chilled out music will tame the beast.

But I’m not odd though…….

10 comments:

Possum said...

Reminds me of a great quotation that a very dear departed friend taught me....
"My mind is like a bad neighborhood; I dont like to go there alone." Annie Lamont

JenJen said...

Dan
I was reading rapidquick through this.
My husband fondly refers to my nighttime ramblings as "deep thoughts with JenJen" as a tribute to the old SNL skits.

Kate and my husband should start a support group.

Eva Gallant said...

Heavy questions to ponder in the wee hours!

Matthew said...

Grating eggs? I had to grate Gouda yesterday and even that felt wrong.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Dan, these are the mysteries of the universe, and everyone thinks odd questions, especially at night, and even more when sleep won't come!
No, I don't think there is anything wrong with you. In fact, it would be stranger if you didn't ask yourself these questions! We all think these things at times, so you are not alone!

hope said...

Your problem is...you're turning into a girl. No. Seriously. ;)

My species lies down at night, perchance to sleep and then all these THOUGHTS come marching through like a battalion of Marines. It's as if getting prone makes the thoughts want to come out and play.
Did I remember to mail a bill? Send a birthday card to my aunt? Did I accidentally insult a friend by e-mail because my fingers got ahead of my brain?
What should I fix for dinner tomorrow or should the hubby worry about that?
Why is he sound asleep and I'm still awake pondering my career [or lack thereof] and how to escape to a job where someone is glad I'm able to DO something other than ask if I can take time off.

It happened last night. I got up and sat on the couch. In 10 minutes I was sound asleep. Sleep walked back to bed an hour later and the voices were gone.

I'm telling ya, it's that prone with a pillow that starts it. :)

Susan at Stony River said...

This is *exactly* why I'm on these pills here. Also why I worked so many years as a librarian: must knoooow, must knooooow...Other people's freaky questions used to make me feel justified in my own.

That be-friends-with-your-clone-thing, hey great novel premise. I mean, what if you hated each other? What if this was far enough into the future where you were assigned to work in a space port or colony with each other, and (oh no) *only* with each other with no other people in contact, so the one person you're interacting with is basically *you*, and you can't stand him, OMG what happens when---
STOP.
I'm stopping.
It's almost bedtime. My pills must be around here somewhere...

ladytruth said...

Wow, insomnia really can drive a person crazy it seems ;) It sounds like you are a very hyper person with an even more hyper mind. Makes for great reading material though!

Dan. said...

Possum- That is actually a great quote and one I am going to steal if that’s OK?

JenJen- We both clearly have deep psychological issues.

Eve- I believe Einstein did the same thing?

Matt- I am such a philistine. I had to Google Gouda and I am supposed to love cheese?

Alice In Wonderland- Thank you, I feel a tiny bit better now.

Hope- But your question are all sensible ones. Do you ever wonder if centipedes ever trip over?

Susan- Nice to know I'm not the only one with a touch of the crazies.

Ladytruth- I'm glad my slow mental decline makes for good reading. I just hope you will be here for me when my eventual breakdown occurs?

hope said...

No, but I have wondered if hummingbirds get tired of flapping so fast. :)