Flowers for Algernon
(Deep Thoughts, 1701 views) - 9/19/05
(recorded 9/19/05 @ 3:20:29 AM)
"You're special... Different. I can tell."
"Can you now? It's funny: So can I."
"You're the type who counts the edges on a snowflake and wonders if there truly isn't another to match."
"It's a type, is it?"
"An utterly rare one, I assure you."
"I'm quite a find then, it would seem."
There are a lot of forms of writer's block, I'm finding. There's the sort where you just simply don't have anything of interest to say. Try as you might, it's all a blank slate, and at least for now, it's staying that way. There's the type where you have all of the words, but they're in the most perfectly incorrect order. And you're finding your line leader undisciplined and lacking experience, the bastard. Truly the last time your class picks him.
Sometimes, I think the hardest type to overcome is the false starts. I see a story in everything. I write a narrative... an epistle, a missive, an anecdote, an entry, a musing, a diatribe, an introduction, a foreword, an entire chapter—I write the first few sentences in my head, and let my mind wander. I do this dozens of times a day, and I notice in between these bouts that my mind is simply constantly racing. I'm mentally pulled in so many directions that I could easily see myself deteriorating into a condition accurately described in the DSM IV. (I hadn't had that thought before now, but I must confess: it scares me, just a little.)
I always describe myself in a word, or two, as relatively insane. It's a simple rationalization that works well for me. And I'm seldom joking as much as you may think. I'm sure that this sounds gaudy and like I'm stroking my ego, and if that's the case, well, nobody's forcing you to stick around. But I wish you could jump inside my head for just a few moments. And I wish I could see someone else's, so I'd have something to compare this experience with. Maybe I'll be the next Flowers for Algernon, a Charlie slowly descending into some post-natal form of autism or something similar. And perhaps you'll all watch my glorious decline, there on your screens, laughing at first, but slowly realizing what's being tucked away and lost to the ether. Perhaps.
It's strange, really. I'll look at my dog, and I'll marvel at his ability to maintain a level of contentment. I thank God that he had the foresight to create a creature so perfectly suited for us. The entire purpose of a dog, it can be surmised, is to have something with the capacity to love, something with relatively low standards, and something that requires little in return, something that can love us completely and show it. My dog is there every day, with a pillow in his mouth, waiting at the door whenever I return home. And he's always just as eager to see me as he was when we first met, if not moreso.
It's perfect that he can lie in the sun for literal hours on end, and be happy during those times where it's "necessary," and excited when it's also appropriate. His mind wanders perhaps when he sleeps, and I can't turn mine off.
I guess I'm writing this as an extended question. I want to know how the rest of you think. I want to know if there are times when everything is running through your head at breakneck speed, and it's all you can do to stay focused on the here and now—to not complete the six-hundredth fictional tale you've devised over the smallest starting point. I think I'm unique to a degree with that behavior; I'm just wondering how unique. (Noting perfectly well that things can't have degrees of "uniqueness." You still get what I mean.)
Sometimes, I feel like the pace at which my mind burns through thoughts is a severe detriment to me. Like there's all this potential energy and, well... flat out potential, that will never see its kinetic manifestation because it's so hard to just spit things out. It's frustrating, but that's the price of being largely crazy, I suppose.
I find myself wondering how many of you will actually read this to completion, but I'm also strangely content with the knowledge that there's the very real possibility that none of you will. Despite an initial feeling of pointlessness, it still feels better to reconcile these thoughts, theoretically "aloud" to a similarly theoretical audience.
It seems that if I didn't at least try, all I'd have around me is failure. And I'll never be prepared for that; I'll never allow that to happen.
I wonder if I'm as special as I sometimes secretly think I am. And I can't help but think that it's all I can do to reveal that—to let my true nature shine through to others, because our best experiences come to us when our horizons are broadened, when we're able to look at something a bit differently, when our paradigms finally shift. And yes, I like to think I have that effect on people. If that sounds like another boost to the ego, that's perfectly fine with me. I personally think it should be everyone's goal in the end.
I know I've yammered on about my self-termed "reasoncount"—a quantified determination for the number of times you've been the reason for someone to laugh, cry or feel anything else. I think it's pretty incredible to consider that the actions you have could significantly impact someone else... And I have to admit I'm addicted to that ideal. I embrace the concept of invoking a paradigm shift in someone, because I know how it feels when it's happened to me. And I want to be someone's reason for that feeling.
By now, if you're still with us, you may be critiquing my purpose here. And to be honest, I'm not sure I have one. I don't plan these harangues beforehand and so I take little-to-no responsibility for where they land. I'd love to refund your time spent here, but I'm afraid I don't have that many nickels. And I do apologize for that, really. But maybe, I've made you consider how you perceive something or something else, just by the smallest degree, and for that, I do believe I owe you no nickels at all.
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