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…….