The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY SIX: MY BRAIN, MY WEAPON
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
My brain, my mind.
A blessed organ of creativity and inspiration.
A cursed membrane, an encased torture device.
Sometimes at the same time.
To be honest, I love my brain. I love to fill it with unimportant useless facts and I love to fill it with life skills. These may come from works of fiction that I use to escape or books about topics such as psychology, astronomy, and social sciences. And the whole gambit in between. I fill my brain with lyrics to my favorite songs or dialogues of whole movies (don’t watch any Indiana Jones movie with me around). I also will sit and watch strangers on their comings and goings and try and deduce what their own things are like some sort of wanna-be Sherlock Holmes.
I try to absorb knowledge and information. I take on new projects to learn new skills that I might use in my life. I try and treat my life like a chess game, trying to think of upcoming possible moves well ahead of time.
I want to be prepared.
And, though, I may not be the smartest person in the room (most of the time, I am not), I want to make sure that if I can come out of my shell when someone speaks to me, that I will be, at the very least, interesting. I want to appear to have an IQ above my shoe size or, better yet, my belt size.
And I think I have succeeded pretty well, most of the time.
At times, my mind feels like an efficiently run computer software cleanroom, so clean you could turn it into a surgical theater that could host an open heart surgery (or brain surgery).
Yeah. I’d like to THINK that.
Then, there are those moments, mostly at night, when my head hits the pillow and I shut my eyes. My brain turns into one of those late 1800 English factories where black smoke billows into the air and causes everything within miles of it to be covered in black soot.
Children walk around hollow faced and dirty and buckets of human wastes or dumped into the street. Everyone has a cough that comes deep within their chest and even the water in the river has a slight rainbow glint to it due to the dumpage of used oil from lanterns.
How’s that for a visual?
OK. I’m exaggerating a bit. It’s not really like a Victorian-era city during the industrial revolution.
But there are nights (and some days) where it feels like it.
My brain has been like Jekyll and Hyde. One moment it’s taking in great amounts of information and turning it into things I can use in my own life. Whether it’s creative ideas or even a life-changing epiphany. Somehow, someway, my brain turns these things into positive revelations, from little ones to big ones.
Then… at any moment, Hyde will come out to play, ceasing all positive outputs and turning them into inner turmoils. Most of the time, it’s when I try to get some sleep. My mind will continue to turn the wheels in my thought factory making them squeal and whine, black smoke churning from one zero-pollutant smokestack. This may continue on for minutes (a few toss and turns, trying to get comfortable and getting my brain to idle down) or may go on for hours (that means going downstairs and watching TV, hoping the idle chatter will lull me to sleep, shutting out the constant gear-grinding in my head).
And what is this back-stabbing factory I call my brain producing when this happens?
Words that should have been said, or not said, at crucial times in my life, trying to right some wrong I did or someone did to me, decades after it happened.
It might be something I did as a kid in Elementary school, some bad test because I didn’t study. Or breaking the stick that my dad hung the American flag on that attached to a wooden post on our front porch because I was pretending it was a lance and hitting the tree in the front yard with it and then hiding it and not saying a word until I was confronted by my dad when he found it.
Yeah, even that.
Hyde is at the controls of the factory in my brain and laughing his diabolical bray at the top of his lungs as he does it.
“HA-HA-HA, let’s see him get some sleep NOW!!!”
And it happens in the day. I can be at work or driving my car or whatever and he’ll creep out of his hidey-hole when Jekyll goes on a bathroom break or grabs a sandwich at lunch and lock the door some nobody can get in for a while and revs up that factory until the black smoke churns once again.
I blame it on being creative and trying to think outside the box all of the time. I blame it on trying to be intelligent and living my life like it’s a game of chess. I blame it on trying to be prepared for all of life’s roadblocks that may come.
That way of thinking has caused my brain to work constantly, day and night, for years.
What’s funny is… I wouldn’t change it. Not at all.
I guess Hyde must have his turn at the factory controls from time to time. I figured it’s all part of the process. With good and positive, there must be moments of bad and negative. At least, inside my own skull.
If life is about anything, it’s about balance. And my mind is no exception. I think it helps the whole creative process that I love so much.
So, I’ll try and keep that in mind the next time I try and get some sleep and an old thought of sneaking into my moms giant Ford LTD when she was vacuuming the house and putting her keys, that I stole from her purse, into the ignition, starting the car and backing it down the driveway and back up again a few times before sneaking them back before she knows it… at the age of eight.
Hyde loves that one.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
April 10th, 2020
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.