Friday, March 22, 2013

Old Soul, Old Brain

I have been told many times in my life that I have an "old soul".  I'm not sure what that means, exactly, because I'm not even sure if a soul is a real thing.  I guess I've been told that because I like a lot of old stuff.  I'm just as likely to be found listening to 1930s jazz as I am hip hop.  It doesn't bother me when movies are in black and white; in fact, sometimes I think those look better than color.  I used to sometimes dress like an old man for reasons that I'm not clear on myself.  It was a strange time, a time of green pants.

What else does having an old soul entail?  Does it mean that I'm wise beyond my years?  Oh, I hope it means I'm wise beyond my years, because what's the alternative?  Does it mean I'm a cranky old crank who will most likely holler at you for stepping on the edge of my lawn, especially if you're a young whippersnapper?

Regardless of whether my old soul is literally an ancient spirit inhabiting a newer body or a figurative description of my fondness for The Marx Bros. and diner specials, it's not the only old thing I'm carrying around in my body.  Lately I've been feeling like the victim of an old brain.  I'm 28 years old, and I think it's time for a replacement.  Is there a warranty on these things?  How do I get it out of my skull without accidentally terminating myself?  If I'm literally in possession of (or possessed by?) an old soul, perhaps its previous owner pondered this same thing but couldn't pull off the whole not dying from brain removal thing.  There's no shame in that; it's tricky.

Since getting a new brain, or at least some replacement parts for it, isn't a feasible option (I probably can't afford it), I'll write about some of what I've been experiencing.  That is, if I don't forget what I'm doing in the middle of typing this and start doing something else.  See, that's one of the big problems I've been having as of late.  I know everybody walks into a room every once in a while and forgets what they went in there for.  I do this at least once a day.  Frequently it happens quite frequently.  (That's right, I just started and ended a sentence with the word frequently.)  And more and more the problem has been becoming more complex, compounding itself.  For example, I'll walk upstairs to get a pair of pants (not green, I don't do that anymore) from the closet.  But while I'm upstairs I notice some dirty dishes sitting on the floor in my daughters' room.  After briefly wondering why they left them on the floor instead of any other available surface, I walk into their room and grab the dishes.  My brain is thus tricked into thinking I accomplished what I went upstairs for.  All is not lost, however, because often times I'll be on the way to the kitchen and remember that I forgot my pants.  So I set the dishes down by the TV and head back upstairs.  I get the pants, but then forget about the dishes, once again feeling a sense of having accomplished my task.  (Putting on pants is an accomplishment, right?)  Later I'll remember that I left the dishes awkwardly stacked in front of the DVD player and return to the living room.  But while I'm in the living room I forget what I went in there for, and the whole cycle repeats itself until I have various objects scattered about the house in places where they shouldn't be.

Along those same lines, I've been having an awful lot of brain farts.  These are not as funny as regular farts because they don't make those excellent sounds.  Last night I looked in the refrigerator for a cup.  This would make sense if I wanted a cup full of delicious apple-pie-flavored pudding (yes, that's a real thing), but I was looking for a cup to pour water into.  We don't keep them in the refrigerator because that would make no sense.  I've also got a lot of cabinet-and-drawer-related confusion when it comes to the kitchen.  When it's time to put the silverware away, I'll sometimes open the drawer where they approximately would have been located in my parents' old house.  This is quite unreasonable because my current kitchen and my parents' old kitchen are not laid out in the same way at all, but it feels like they should go in a certain drawer, until I open it up to find it's the junk drawer, home of countless rubber bands, batteries that may or may not be dead, and little metal and plastic doodads that I have no idea where they came from, but I'm afraid to throw them out in case I need them someday.

And that's another thing I've been doing which I feel like I shouldn't make a habit of until I'm in my 70s.  I'm not exactly what you'd call a hoarder; there's still a lot of open space to walk around in (trying to remember what I'm looking for) in the house.  I guess you could say I'm more of a pack-rat.  Aside from the aforementioned doodads, I also save all thingamajigs, doohickeys, and gizmos.  Oh, how I love gizmos.  That's not all!  I'll hang on to old shirts that have become 87% hole/13% shirt for years because I think I might cut the picture from the front of it and use it for something.  So far, I've never done that.  I do the same thing with magazines, setting aside stacks and stacks of them for making collages.  I can say that I do actually make the collages from time to time, but the ratio of how many of those I make to the abundance of magazines is way lopsided in favor of the periodicals.  And I save coffee cans.  So many coffee cans.

Remember when I rhetorically asked if I was a cranky old crank a few paragraphs ago?  I didn't, but I saw it when I scrolled up to see how long this article was, which I did not because I was interested  in it's length, but because I had forgotten what the next paragraph was intended to be about and decided to check the length as a brief time-filler.  Anyway, as much as I hate it, I am a cranky old crank sometimes.  In general I'm a very positive person, but the older I get, the worse I feel in the morning.  I used to survive on four hours of sleep a night, maybe five or six if I was really beat.  Now I feel like no amount of sleep is enough, and I'll act like a total butt to anybody who comes near me before caffeine enters my bloodstream.  After some coffee or tea I'm usually okay, unless I have to drive somewhere.  Assholes!  Everyone else on the road is assholes!  This has been my general belief since I started driving, but I used to be capable of taking it in stride, maybe driving a little more aggressively if necessary, and getting on with my life.  Now I just want to complain and complain about it.  Luckily, my friends are all getting older too, so I have people to complain with.

I'm hoping that any of my readers that are the same age as me or older are nodding their heads, perhaps sadly, in recognition of these brain failures that have become a constant in my life.  Or maybe this has nothing to do with getting old, maybe I'm just losing my mind.  I'm not sure if I'll end up in a nursing home or a mental asylum, but I have a foreboding feeling that I'll one day live in someplace that smells like pee.

Oh!  One last thing, but first I have to get something from the other room.  I'll finish my thought when I get back...

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