10/365: Somewhere Only We Know

I was stung by a wasp last night. We get wasps in Casa Faler. The bug company can’t explain it because there are no wasp nests. I believe they come from our neighbor’s house because we have better iced tea. Anywasp, I was stung. I ran around yelling substitute curse words I’ve written here before; “Flip Wilson” being my go-to substitute curse word when kids are around. Sidebar: my youngest is 12 — how long do I have to keep the stake cursing up? It’s not like he hasn’t heard me curse before. Like last week. He was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to finish dinner after the sting. I did.

I’m also still dealing with this stupid finger that makes it useless. I can’t sign my name. I can’t write. It’s more than annoying.

None of that has anything. To do with this post.

So, last night I felt woozy after getting stung. I assumed since I’m allergic to everything else, I’d have to go to the ER — but thank God, I was ok. So, I was lightheaded and dizzy, but not sleepy. I stayed up watching Psych. A million thoughts going through my head, but I couldn’t capture one. That was only partly due to the sting. After I was diagnosed Bi-Polar 2, my psychiatrist asked me a bunch of questions and as a bonus, I also have ADD. Not the H part, because the Lord knows I’m not the least bit hyper. Except for my brain.

My brain can be a scary place. Maybe not scary, but maybe if my brain were split down the middle for people to look into. I envision the brain like that. Like a Barbie Dream House. It looks fine and pretty on the outside, then you open it up and it’s dissected straight down the middle. Once it’s open you see the kitchen, the bedroom, living room, some other room, and of course the elevator on the side. Everything is pink and bright and Barbie is smiling and Ken is doing his best sitting on the chaise lounge. But hmmm, Ken isn’t really sitting because he doesn’t bend that well and he can’t bend his legs enough to where his feet hit the floor. And Barbie only has a twin plastic bed and she can’t hold most of her kitchen utensils because her fingers are fused together.

On the outside Barbie’s house looked fine, then you open it up and most of it is unusable. Kind of like my brain.

If you opened up my brain you’d see many drawers. Open a drawer and see what you find. There is a big drawer of art. Painting, typography, Photoshop and Illustrator. Another drawer is full of art and scrapbooking supplies. Open that drawer slowly, there is glitter in there and open paint tubes.

That’s the thing about my brain and its drawers: you don’t know what is in each drawer because they’re not labeled and they’re filled to the top. Things may fall out when you open them. One drawer is for recipes; some I’ll never try, but they’re there because I have the aspiration. One huge drawer for music. Bands and hundreds of lyrics and trivia about those things. Records, iPods, the old Mtv, cassettes, mix tapes I carefully put together and those from friends in the late 80s and early 90s. Concerts and concerts. Memories I associate with different people and moments.

Another drawer of books and collected works. Old books, even older books, new books, collected poems. Lines from novels that have stuck with me for years and decades. Characters that are old friends. Places that seem so real I can see them.

A quarter of my brain is dark and twisty. The drawers would be labeled “doubt” and “self esteem” and “hate.” Yes, hate. There would be “things you’ll never do” and “things people have said about you for the past 30 years” and “regret.” Don’t open “the truth” or “things you can’t tell anyone” or “things you can’t forget” or “wait until they find out you’re a fraud.” Don’t open that drawer. In fact, stay away from that whole section.

The other quarter of my brain is jam packed full of drawers with memories and conversations. I’ve said it before, but I have this weird kind of photographic memory where I remember every conversation I’ve ever had. My husband calls it total recall (I don’t think he loves it). If I’m doing something while talking to you I may miss a name or confuse one person for another, but otherwise, I could write out our whole conversation. I could tell you what someone said about a dress I wore in 1991. It’s quite odd. And it’s nothing that will become useful one day, except for my own memories, which brings me to this:

I routinely can’t remember things. Not the conversations, but other things. I believe it’s more that when you walk into a room and can’t remember why you walked in said room. It’s forgetting a thought before I get to another or one thought interrupting another. It worries me.

It worries me because of the things I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget what the person said about the dress in 1991. In the cross-section of my brain it looks like papers falling out of those drawers and I want to gather them all up and put them in a binder and store them away. Because I don’t want to forget the protagonist of my first (unpublished) novel was Kara Bennet. I don’t wasn’t to forget that the first album I ever bought with my own money was “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Or that the first Beatles song I ever heard was “Norwegian Wood.” I don’t want to forget my grandmother’s hands. That I looked for Elvis’ ghost in each of the rooms and places on the tour at Graceland. Or birthdays. Or when we moved another friend’s car to the other side of the mall. Or the time someone and I went somewhere only we know.

So, I’m doing my best to catch those papers and stuff them back into their drawers. I’m doing well. I don’t think I have the early signs of dementia or anything. Maybe it’s part of having ADD, I don’t know. I’m chalking it up to that. Yeah, that’s what I’m doing.

Attention Deficit Disorder. Yes.

The song for today is “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. It says a few things. Good song.

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