Friday, June 12, 2009

An actual snapshot of my mind.

Death isn't on my mind very often. It isn't. It's so unusual, in fact, that I had to stop and consider why I was driving to drop off dinner at a friend's and thinking about the best way to die. When I followed the thought thread back, this is what I found. (It would be really hard to call this a train of thought because that's far too. . .linear. I think in bubble clusters. At best.)

This NPR story is really interesting. I wonder if Brother Blakesley would ever be on one of their shows as a legal expert. I know he's been on a few TV shows. I really like his Facebook status updates. Maybe if we ever drive through Vegas we could stop and visit him. Although I haven't seen him since I was fourteen. It would probably kind of weird. And even if I did make that phone call, there would be that awkward moment when we're in his living room catching up and he asks how my parents are. What do I say? "Uh, they're dead"? And then he'd want to know how and there's no fast way to explain how my dad died. Although he'll probably think it's cancer. But that's what my mom died from. And I don't feel bad for having to say it but I feel bad for other people having to hear it. And then there will be the follow up questions and I'll have to explain that it wasn't such a bad experience. I mean, what if they died all of a sudden and I didn't get to say what I wanted? Everybody got to say what they wanted before Mom and Dad died. But is it selfish to be glad they lingered? I mean, wouldn't I want to go fast?

Hm...how do I want to die?

I'm a lot better about these random brain field trips now. In high school, I'd often drop a statement like "I like blue popsicles" into a conversation about football and get blank looks. It made perfect sense in my head. I mean, they're talking about our JV team and who's going to make the varsity team, so it looked like this inside my brain:

I wonder if we have anyone at our school good enough to go past that to college or even the pros. How weird would it be if I saw a classmate play in the Super Bowl? I love Super Bowl commercials. But the funny ones, not the serious ones. They always have Gatorade commercials during the Super Bowl, I think. Those are always serious. I like blue Gatorade the best. Man, it's hot right now. I wish I had some blue Gatorade. Oooh, even better, a blue popsicle. "I like blue popsicles."

And then the blank stares.

When my friends discovered that no matter what the statement, I could always trace the convoluted logic that got me there, it became their little past time to get me to walk back through the bubble cluster.

"Books smell funny."

"Okay, Mel. How'd you get there?"

And it always surprised me that it wasn't totally obvious.

Me with an impatient sigh, "You were talking about pandas." Duh.

32 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I've never actually tried to retrace my mental steps. Maybe I'm scared of what I might find.

Yours, though, make perfect sense. Pandas, popsicles, duh.

LisAway said...

I'm so with you.

I think this is a sign that you're very intelligent. (Not that we didn't know that already)

But really. Have you even listened to Hugh Nibley mumble his way through talking about who knows what for long periods of time? OVERACTIVE BRAIN. Means you're smart.

LisAway said...

I meant ever, not even. Because it sounds weird with the even. And plus, I actually meant to type ever.

(I think you can probably guess by my comments why exactly it is I'm not blogging lately. WEIRD BRAIN.

Luisa Perkins said...

I don't eat a ton of cold cereal, but when I do, I prefer peanut-butter flavor.

Luisa Perkins said...

Oooh, I took a class from Hugh Nibley at BYU--Pearl of Great Price. It was AWESOME. His favorite food was Cheerios.

wonder woman said...

And these trains/bubbles/ckusters only take 3 seconds to get from point A to point B, right?

Yeah, I'm right there with you. Expecially with the learning to filter your thoughts.

As far as the best way to die......I honestly plan on living into the Millenium and being twinkled.

Becca said...

And now I'm totally thinking about band-aids. Neon ones. why not?

Fiauna said...

I love this post. This is so me!!! I think I just live too much inside my own head. You must do it too.

Aubrey said...

Love the part about the blue popsicles. And I get a lot of blank looks too, if it makes you feel any better.

Jami said...

I love thought tracing. My sister and I play "association." You say a word and the other person responds with first word that popped into her mind. Then when something odd cropped up we'd demand its origins. ("Blue Popsicle from football? I gotta hear this one.")

Kazzy said...

I have a son who makes these same kinds of connections all the time. Only, he laughs at himself a lot both before and after he says them. He is very confident and unique, and I love it. I am sure you are the same. :)

Lara said...

OH yes. I can so relate. I commonly make strange comments and have a perfectly logical string of thoughts, but nobody else understands.

Too bad I didn't have your friends. :)

Migillicutty said...

That totally sounds like me! Except I usually don't actually trace the random thought back to it's origins. Except for sometimes I'll be talking about something with my friends and 10 minuets later we'll be talking about something totally different, like dreams to racoons or sausages to bride wars. It's weird,but it makes me feel better b/c I know I'm not alone.

Annette Lyon said...

This is very much like conversations with my big sister--only neither of us bats an eye when we get off on odd tangents. Isn't that normal? :D

Kristina P. said...

I'm insane all the time. I can relate.

Kimberly said...

LOVE the way your mind works. But only because it validates mine.

charrette said...

This sounds like me. And my husband totally makes fun of me for doing it. Even when I retrace my logic.

But the queen of randomness is our daughter, The Princess. Right in the middle of FHE she'll make a comment about Costco Lasagna...

And in her case I don't think it's possible to retrace her steps. No train-of-thought involved. Pure ADHD.

nano*ink said...

squirrel....

nano*ink said...

Death is a subject of some of my bubble thoughts. I am not afraid to die. I am afraid of pain, or loss of cognitive ability....or being grouchy.

boysmum2 said...

I had never thought to actually write down these bubble clusters of thought to see why we say random things out loud.
So cool, love it. Made me smile

InkMom said...

Sometimes I drop a random statement like that, and my husband is quiet for a minute . . . and then he attempts to retrace my mental steps for me. It's quite entertaining, let me tell you, and enlightening, too. He's not usually right, but his imagination goes all kinds of interesting places in it's efforts to recreate mine.

DeNae said...

I had a friend in Seattle who was so notorious for opening her mouth halfway through her internal monologue I finally just started saying, "Um, Annette, I'm pretty sure you had most of that conversation inside your own head."

And which is worse: Facing the blank stares when you say the seemingly disconnected thing, or facing the blank stares when you tediously explain to the listeners how you got to the 'blue popsicle' stage?

I know. That' a toughie.

Shauna said...

Hey woman! I miss you! Hope you are doing well! ♥ HUGS ♥

The Wingnut's said...

Speaking of bubble clusters, I have a whole plan in place (inside my head) of my funeral, my husbands funeral, my children's funeral and how life will proceed in the event of any of our deaths.

I guess that comes under the heading of Provident Living. Always being prepared. Maybe I should write it down and put it with my cans of pinto beans and corn?

myimaginaryblog said...

I have two stories for this one right off the top of my head (and, wow, this one garnered lots of comments. Also I'm very late getting here.)

1) You know that game "Compatibility," where you're given a noun and you both choose from a deck of images whatever images make you think of that noun, and if you're compatible you'll supposedly pick the same images? That game wasn't so good for my marriage. My husband and I got a word something like "marriage" and I chose an image of red rocks in Southern Utah, because my husband and I got engaged at Arches National Park. He chose something like a couple kissing or a picture of an engagement ring. And when we didn't have matching pictures, he said, (although he now denies having said this,) "You're playing the game wrong."

2) A couple of weeks ago my mom asked me, "Did you get your hair cut?" and I answered, "Not yet, but I did buy a breast pump." She knew exactly what I meant. (Couldn't leave baby to get hair cut until I could pump enough breast milk for husband to feed baby a bottle while I was gone.)

(P.S. I agree with the other commenters that being able to make imaginative associative leaps is a sign of intelligence. One of my favorite claims to fame is that in a Child Development class that was held in a large lecture hall, the professor challenged us to write down as many uses as we could think of for a random object in a short period of time (maybe 2 minutes) and I had more uses listed than anyone else in the room. The object was a nylon stocking and I remember one of mine was that you could use it as a fan belt.)

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm just impressed that you can figure out how you got there. I just don't have the short term memory for that.

Hit 40 said...

I also leave out the in between thoughts when I talk. So...

I also look a little nuts saying something like I like blue popsicles.

Hit 40 said...

Your comment at my blog was funny! Small world.

My hubby works for A&F

Brillig said...

HAHAHA.

You are so awesome.

That is all.

Eowyn said...

I'm so very that way! I do the random thoughts all the time. Faramir has his own special look for me when I do that, the "What?!?!" look. You know, that one you got in high school a lot! :)

Of course it was pandas! What else would it be? Although if they'd said "red pandas" it would be come up as what you had for breakfast because you immediately would have thought of Shi-Fu from Kung Fu Pand and then you would have thought about Kung Fu and if Shi-fu was really that good and what would happen if he would come and teach your kick-boxing class and are they really that different? And then you would have started thinking about how well you were doing at your class and whether or not your health goals were being met and that maybe you really shouldn't have had that poached egg for breakfast (except maybe you don't like poached eggs) and so you'd have asked people what they thought of poached eggs.

See, it makes perfect sense.

Chas Hathaway said...

I tried to get a snapshot of my own mind, but as soon as I sat down to get started, I forgot what I was doing there...

- Chas
http://chas.willowrise.com

L.T. Elliot said...

I do that same thing! I love retracing my thoughts. Sometimes, it really helps get me in the right frame of mind for writing too.