I laugh at inappropriate, horrible things. Things that other people might be offended by are generally hilarious to me. I have been accused, on more than one occasion, of having the sense of humor of a 14 year old boy. Phrases like, “That’s what she said,” frequently pop into my head. It’s just who I am as a person. I used to try to cover it up, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to embrace it. I’m pretty sure it’s inherited. My mom used to say, “We’re so warped,” but she never meant it as a bad thing. It was something that made us who we were, and we appreciated it.
This weekend, I was attempting to relax which is admittedly not easy for me since my mind is usually racing and I’m anxious by nature, but I’m trying to do better. I’m sitting outside, and I look up into the sky and see this cloud, or maybe one of those trails that airplanes leave behind, in the sky. I imagine most people look at clouds and see things like bunnies and Disney characters, or maybe even the face of Jesus. “Huh,” I thought, “That looks like vfib that deteriorated into asystole.” And then I thought, “That’s probably not normal.”
So I decide to send a picture of it to a few friends and see what they think. I get a couple of “ha ha’s” and even a heart reaction. But no one really commented beyond that, so I assume they think I’m nuts. Then, I send My Friend a picture of it, and I get the response, “Oh God. I hope it’s not an omen.” This is why we are friends. No judgment, no wow you’re weird. Just acceptance. It makes me smile.
“See? This is why I can’t enjoy nature,” I say. “My mind is a strange place.”
My Friend says, “Great things come from strange minds.”
So I’ve been thinking about this, about all the ways my mind is a weird place. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a voracious reader, and I’ve wanted to be a writer. I’m fascinated by books and stories and movies. When I was in kindergarten and everyone else said they wanted to be a teacher or an astronaut, I wanted to be an author. But as I got older, I realized that my life had been going to smoothly. I didn’t have anything to write about. No one wants to read anything by someone normal who hasn’t been through any crap in their life. You know why? It’s too shallow. It’s not interesting. No one wants to read about happy fake fluff. You can’t get 80,000 words out of happy. Fortunately for me, life happens, and I now have plenty of material to work with. Turns out, my mind has been strange enough all this time that I probably could’ve been a writer without so much carnage. Here are a few of the reasons why:
I go to cookouts and end up sitting up in a treehouse, and discover that I like it up there, hiding out and safe from the world. I spend several minutes wondering if Other Half would build a treehouse for me, and if the kids would be jealous if I had one and they didn’t. Or if they would try to kick me out when I was in the middle of re-enacting the s’mores scene from The Sandlot.
If Mason Ramsey asks me to build Peppa Pig an apartment, I feel like I didn’t do a good job if it’s not decorated, so I add a houseplant. I also tried to put a grill on the roof so that Peppa would have some semblance of a kitchen, but Mason Ramsey lost interest and I had to pretend I like Legos instead.
I find creepy baby dolls that Mary Ann leaves on the stairs and instead of picking it up and taking it to her room, I take a step back like it’s probably going to kill me, and then I think “let me take a picture.” As an aside, Christina Yang and I have always been convinced that dolls like this come alive at night and plan to murder us, At this point I don’t consider it a matter of if, just when. And frankly, if you don’t think this doll is creepy, I’m pretty sure you’re the one with the strange mind.
I people watch with an unnecessary level of interest. Like last week when we were eating dinner and I noticed an older couple who both brought books with them to dinner. Instead of having some epiphany about how I should be more present with Other Half so that when we’re empty nesters we still have things to talk about, I was mostly thinking, “Wonder how I get him to be OK with me reading books at dinner?”
About a year ago, my mom went to see a cardiologist (who also happens to be a friend of mine) because one of her brothers passed away unexpectedly at a young age from a genetic heart condition. When she was filling out family history, after writing what happened with her brother, she wrote, “Dad- heart attack. Mom- hot mess.” She was in the waiting room until her name was called. Then, when she was taken to the exam room, her blood pressure was mildly elevated. The cardiologist walks into the room and says, “So, your blood pressure is a little elevated today.” She responded with, “Well, your waiting room has Fergie singing the national anthem playing on TV. Your blood pressure would be up too if you just saw that.” After mom’s appointment I asked, “So do I make more sense now?” He just smiled and said, “Yep.”
Yes, my mind is a strange place. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic (and I’m not the only one with the suspicion— my mom bought me that sign). And as My Friend says, “Great things come from strange minds.”