Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting a Brainful

Lately my brain feels a little like it’s got a few leaky spots. Right in the back, against the nape of my neck, some future dentist appointments are slipping out in steady drops.

I don’t like planners and never look at them so I prefer to just run through, constantly, the list of things I have to do that day, that week, that month, in my head. I have a very good memory. It used to be that if I said I forgot something I had to do, I was probably lying. These days it’s true. It’s very disconcerting.

Things I’ve said “yes” to, only to get you off my back, whizzed out of my ear like a balloon losing air. It was noisy enough to wake me up last night, and left me wondering where those excuses I’d already made up were supposed to land.

The to-do list for work has gotten lost under the mess of papers that spread like whitewash over my desk. I find that while you’re looking for one paper you were supposed to fill out by the 15th and put in someone’s box, you find three more notes with numbers of people you were supposed to call back. While you’re checking your email for the information you need to call those people back with, you see that the flags you created on your messages as priority are long past. All of this reminds you of that data chart you started three days ago and promised to your Principal by today, which will take more hours than you have that day. Your phone rings and it’s someone who needs you to do something. While you’re talking to that person your phone rings on the second line. All of those things I’ve forgotten are really just temporarily displaced. 

Just yesterday I had an award winning short story in my head. Now I can’t remember if I was dreaming that I had the story, or if I really had it, because the unnamed character died in the fog, and I can’t even bury him properly or notify his next of kin. I’d like to have something to lay him to rest, but I am only assuming he’s a he, because I’m sexist about my main characters wanting to be men, unless they’re me, and I don’t think I would like to be in a short story.

It makes me feel even more frantic, not knowing where I am forgetting to go, or what I was supposed to be avoiding, or thinking I’ve lost something I’m not sure I had.

Sometimes I’m arguing with Devon after school about his homework that he has not yet done and I say, “We’ve had this conversation before” because it seems very familiar but I’m wondering if there’s a detail I’m missing, like, maybe it was Lesson 3-2 on page 143 we were talking about, and not Lesson 3-7 on page 156. Or maybe we were talking about Art. Or last year entirely. 

When you’re a teenager you’re sure that you’ll remember everything, but if you don’t it’s because you have waves under your board and friends to meet at the bus stop and nights to stay up late in and ipods with new music.

When you’re an adult you need to remember everything, but you can’t because you have children who talk while you’re checking your bank accounts and eyelids that can’t stay open past 9:30 and a pile of papers that whisper to you when you’re trying to wash the dishes that have been giving you stink eye for three days.

My head is so full of students’ names, lesson plans, data that proves nothing, students’ mean words, Amaya’s last shoe drop, Mozely’s tantrums, minutes until Jake gets home, and my next meal,

that it’s amazing anything else fits.

I’m fixing a hole, where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering…. where it will go….

----Paul McCartney


Metta said...

Mariko, I really, really like your writing.  Maybe your gift for holding it all together is going by the wayside, but your gift for capturing how it feels to lose your gift of holding it all together is still very, very intact.

Mariko said...

Thank you, Metta. That is very nice of you to say. :)

Sent from my iPod

sienna said...

Nicely done. I think the internet makes me more forgetful. I carry so many distractions around in my pocket all day, and as soon as I sit down at the computer I am bombarded by all these things to look at that link here and there that I am forget why I even sat down in the first place. I worry about my kids being able to focus on anything with so many distractions out there. I sat down to read a novel that I started 8 months ago and didn't get through three pages before I was interrupted, and my kids were asleep. 

melinda temple said...

i feel the same way.  i make lists and lose them.  i make lesson plans, but forget to look at them.  i fasted last month to stop feeling to scatterbrained.  i agree with sienna, there are lots of distractions, and many of them are things that are supposed to make life easier, but don't.