The Occasional Sunshine Of The Unspotless Mind

Lately I’ve gone from playing “Words With Friends” to playing “Words With Fellow Insomniacs”. The ping goes out at 2 a.m. and, if I get a reply, I usually think, “Oh, you’re like me. No sleep, huh?” There are people who have occasional bouts but then there are the lifers, like me. I do have runs of decent sleep but, overall, I suffer from Monkey Brain. If I get up to pee, grab a glass of water, or even roll over, I have to be careful not to let the Monkey Brain feast on all the fodder in there. If he even gets a taste, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

In fact, I’ve begun to keep a pad next to my bed. I figure I might as well benefit from the synapses firing that late in the night. Topics range from my shopping list to unreturned emails to the health and future of my kids to major life mistakes. I’ve never been one to make very sound decisions, choosing to jump first, pay consequences later. I’ve burned bridges in my work life, borrowed the maximum while paying out-of-state tuition for graduate school, and done plenty of other things that make me wonder whether there is actually a wee little peanut in the part of brain where common sense should reside. If I let the bigger more existential crises come to mind, the monkey brain has lots to feed on, and I might as well just roll with it. Hence, the Words With Friends.

I think a lot about the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A spotless mind! Oh, if only that were me. I loved that film and all its implications. I love that, despite the fact that he erased her from his mind, she still found a way back to him. Our subconscious is a devious and powerful master of our domain. I’ve often wondered whether I would do it if I had the chance – to wipe away the unpleasant memories that always seem to live in there somewhere, only to be left with a shiny and clean mind. Only that wouldn’t be me. And, somewhere, deep down, I do want to be me.

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

I hope to one day rid myself of Monkey Brain and let my overworked, exhausted mind rest a bit. Until then, I have to learn acceptance. I have to learn to love (or at least like) every part of me, the good and the bad. I have to think of myself like one of the manatees, who proudly display the scars they’ve gotten out in the depths of the expansive ocean. The scars are part of me, too, and I hope to one day embrace the beauty of an unspotless mind.


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