Thursday, May 26, 2005


After returning from my run this morning I realized that I wanted some Gatorade, or Adams Ale (an Australian form of Gatorade), but I remembered that I didn't have any left, that I had checked the fridge last night and it was Gatorade-free, but something in the back of my brain, or perhaps in the centre, told me that that was a lie, that Gatorade existed somewhere in the apartment, independent and fruity and good.

My brain was right.

On the windowsill in my bedroom was an almost empty bottle of 'blue chill' Adams Ale. (I think that's what it's called. Blue something, at any rate. It tastes, to use technical language for a moment, 'fucking awesome', like the blue freezies you used to get when you were a kid.)

But this is the thing. I thought that I didn't have any left, because there wasn't any in the fridge. And I had forgotten that I had a bottle on the windowsill, waiting. But I hadn't completely forgotten, no, because something inside of my head was telling me that my initial conclusion was wrong.

So my question is:

Why does the brain do that?

I mean, physically: what's going on in the circuits of my head that enables me to half-way glimpse and remember an already existing energy drink, while the other half of my brain denies its existence?

It's those little quirks that fascinate me. (Of course, I still find Stallone's comedic performance in OSCAR fascinating, too, but I'm telling you -- it's better than you'd think.) Ever since I watched THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS on my friend's VCR, the first VCR of anyone I'd ever known, I've been hooked on questions regarding any and all gray matter.

(And you should check out that flick, THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS, if you get a chance. Great Steve Martin. Steve Martin when he was still a 'wild and crazy guy', and before he'd descended into his BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE/CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN phase. And did you know that they're actually, sincerely making CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN II? And the weird thing about Martin is, he's a pretty good writer; he writes these witty, satirical pieces for THE NEW YORKER, and then makes unfunny movies that he must KNOW are unfunny. I don't mind that they're sentimental; PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES is sentimental to the extreme, but it's also funny as hell. I'm not totally begrudging the guy; I'm just saying, he's better than the movies he's been putting out there, as his writing proves. He needs to get back to his roots. And do you see the random roads our brains can take us on when we're not paying attention?!? Next thing you know I'll be writing about FULL HOUSE...)

Or yesterday:

I grabbed my housemates' bottle of water instead of mine. Except that it wasn't water, it was Crystal Light lemon drink, and so when I took a swig of the Crystal Light, thinking it was water, I almost spit the stuff out all over my lap. Why? Because my brain had prepared my lips for the taste of water. Instead, my lips tasted lemon. And my tongue reacted. (Tongues have a way of doing that.)

Our brains should come with instruction manuals, like model airplanes. They don't. All we get are parents. (I guess that's somewhat of a compensation.)

The older I get, the more fascinating the inner-workings of the brain get. Are they autonomous entities, these brains of ours? Are they separated from our soul, or even our mind (if you're not soul-inclined)? How much power does a brain have? If the power is immense, as I suspect it is, what accounts for the longevity of FULL HOUSE? (Damn. I knew that, having entered my consciousness, my brain frame, that FULL HOUSE would rear its ugly little head. That show was on for like eight years. I mean, come ON. One, two years, fine. But EIGHT? Couldn't all of the brain power associated with coming up with unfunny one-liners for stepford-like kids have been put to better use?)

We focus on the 'big questions' when examining the brain: notions of intellectual capabilities and existential possibilities.

But the smaller ones are just as intriguing, I think.

What the brain chooses to reveal to us, and why. What we remember, and forget, and remember again. How the fresh smell of newly-cut grass reminds us of a day in childhood that was random and common, but somehow is still alive, restive and patient, lodged somewhere in the backs of our cranial compartments.

I was going to say something else, something vivid and profound, but I've forgotten what I was going to say.

I'm blaming my brain.

(If I remember, you'll be the first to know. Maybe even before I know it.)

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