In the early morning, as I rise from the depths of that all-encompassing death of sleep, I sometimes stumble into conversations and ramblings that aren’t my own. In those moments right before I open my eyes, I feel my thoughts stroke surfaces of things I don’t even care about. This morning it was something about a lecture on topography and a way to talk to those folks that prefer to dine earlier in the day.
It’s as if I woke into a wrong room, and body … inhabited by a completely different person who was not expecting my arrival at that hour, if at all. Irritated that I was taking my synapses back, the phantom intellect and perpetuator of useless topics stood up in a huff and shuffled her papers in irritation, then stormed toward the middle or back of my brain to see about finding a more private room, or to schedule the current one for another time when I would be less likely to interrupt.
To my knowledge, I’ve never once been pleasantly surprised by this imbecile. Her random topics aren’t entertaining in any way, and although boring, they are too awkward or alarming to effectively put me back to sleep. I think I understand where the stories about tiny shoe cobblers might have originated if this is the state of our condition in middle-age. I’m not a big shoe collector, but I’d take quiet little cobbler elves over this ignoramus any day. I fear she will chase away my muse inspired wakings – those mornings where I rise with good ideas and rush to my keyboard before coffee to get them written.
I’m not trying to be selfish here. If she would simply pick any number of the millions of things that even remotely interest me to poke around in, I’d let her stay longer. What’s wrong with a little history of Ireland, book reviews, Mars and physics or astronomy . . . even gluten-free or lactose intolerant solutions. Okay, those last ones are snore-inducers, but there’s things in there like: Nero and pyromania, “the threat of pink,” oh – and don’t miss “code yellow butterfly.” She has her pick of specifics or abstract to run with – all of them fascinating and/or useful. But instead, I have to walk in on the sordid pictures of her dissecting the types of arch support, or why the letter “J” curves left instead of right.
I worry. What if this is a takeover starting? I’ve always feared that day, when I start to forget little and big things, and head down Alzheimer’s road. What if this boring and presumptuous phantom is biding her time for that, so she can take over my person? A body snatcher in the makings? Perhaps more sleep and exercise is the answer! Well, more sleep at least.
Don’t mistake my anxiety. I know this mind squatter pulls these topics from somewhere in my head. I’m not insinuating a lobotomy of all that is bland. It’s just . . . well, you know the score. Take a difficult math concept and “Teacher A,” who explains patiently, shows you pages in your book, and even scribbles some things on the board. You just don’t get it. Enter “Teacher B,” who says little and writes from simple to extreme across the board, then turns and, you feel enlightened and now completely understand the concept.
This morning intruder is starting to make me wonder if I might like to explore (more fully) the techniques of sinus cleansing. If she ends up being “Teacher B,” I’m doomed.