August 16, 2013 by Renee
So I’ve decided to list THE LEGEND OF JACKSON MURPHY and IN THE BONES (e-book version only) free this week. FREE!! So go, get them, share the good news and leave a review if you feel so inclined. While I’m supposed to be editing, I’ll keep checking my social media pages, breathlessly awaiting someone’s acknowledgement of their freeness.
But that’s not what’s wrong with me. Or you. It’s about my brain, and maybe your brain. I hope it’s also your brain, because otherwise, I’m too far into weird territory, and that’s probably not a good thing. But let me explain.
When I was little, I used to think I was strange, and as a kid, anything different is bad. I know better now, but back then, it was terrifying to think that someone might catch on to my weirdness and tell the world. *shudder* Everyday situations were never mundane or boring to me. (although I have to say that television watching with Dad was the exception because he watched the parliament channel and we weren’t allowed to change it—not even if he fell asleep and it was torture and awful and everything) I used to imagine I was “outside” everything, observing but not actually involved in whatever was going on, even though I really was. In my observatory position, I’d imagine a totally different scenario. I’d consider all the things that could go wrong, or right, or insanely weird. It was troublesome because sometimes I should have been paying attention.
For example, in school, instead of listening to the lesson, I’d be imagining what might happen if the teacher tripped, and the yard stick she had in her hand fell in front of her in just the right way, and it gouged out one of her eyes, and she’d be all “Blaahhhh!” because that’s pretty much all you can say when a stick is in your eye, goring your brain and such, and the kids all freak out, because seeing someone get gored is traumatic, and the police and the paramedics come and we’d get out early. That’d be great, I’d think, and then I’d realize that the teacher would probably die and I’d feel kind of bad for imagining it. Then I’d hate my brain because if it actually happened, would it be my fault for thinking of the possibility? I mean, it wasn’t impossible but had I not thought of it, the possibility might never have occurred to the universe, and so the teacher would be okay. And then the bell would ring and I’d be all “Damn. I have no idea what we just learned, but recess!” and it’d be all forgotten.
My brain still works like that.
Just today I saw this guy sitting on a bench. He wasn’t weird-looking in any way. Actually, he was passably attractive, clean and reasonably well-dressed. I don’t think he’d have smelled bad if I had to stand behind him in line, but anyway, he was just sitting there, with his phone in his hand, not doing much. As I walked past, he said hello, I said hello, because that’s how Canadians roll, and I kept walking. Then my mind wandered to what said guy might really be doing on that bench. Everything around me vanished and I was inside my head (again). I couldn’t have told you what happened on the street if something worth noticing did happen. Instead I was visualizing the things my imagination concocted. What if he’s a serial killer who picks his victims or plans his kills on benches? What if he’s watching is next victim, just waiting for her to come out of the bank? What if he’s been killing people for his whole life and he’ll never be caught because he looks so fucking normal, and I just walked by and said hello like there was not a damn thing wrong with him? That’s like saying “Hey man, it’s okay if you kill folks for shits and giggles. I’ll still be nice to you.” Or what if before that, he was rethinking his path in life, considering giving up the killing and such, because he just wants to be liked and normal. What if by saying hello, and not derisively snarling at him like I do sometimes to creepy people, I changed his mind about changing his life? Oh. My. God.
And then I was all, “That’s just stupid.” And someone else caught my eye. A woman, whom I and a friend refer to as “American Woman” and that’s all I’m giving you on that one, was standing at the grocery store with her boyfriend. They’re all “Nguh…” because they don’t speak very well without teeth, and I’m all “Shudder.” I walk by, holding my breath, because the really smell awful, and I imagine what their everyday life must be like. Are they like everyone else? Doesn’t smell like their day begins with a shower, but it might begin with a coffee or whatever. Maybe they’re actually some kind of supernatural shit in disguise and my breath-holding, eye-contact-avoiding ways are only going to ensure that I’m on the boat no one wants to be on when the shit hits the fan and the apocalypse arrives (because it’s totally going to be caused by something supernatural. I know it). Should I walk back down the aisle and say hello this time? Then I see Cigarette Butt lady, and she’s slobbering. She could be a supernatural too, but you know… it’s just not worth it. I get my shit and I go home. It’s safer at home.
But is it? You don’t even want to know the shit I imagine in the garage… wait, you do want to know, because I write that stuff down for you.
What about the rest of you? Is this an issue only I have? Do you walk around all trapped inside your head like this? How do you turn it off? Seriously. I’d like to turn it off now and then and I can’t.