Most a the time when I try and think about stuff like nanotechnology or on those odd occasions when I’m perusing an in depth and poignant theoretical essay regarding the significant influences that modern architecture had on the cultural revolution, or lack thereof, especially in the United States, I end up gettin’ frustrated and wishin’ that I wasn’t so dumb. It’s not that I wanna be like Albert Einstein or even one a those German Bauhaus dudes, although at times it would be nice, it’s just that I musta gotten that stupid gene that apparently plagues my family from time to time and instead of bein’ all smart and intellectual like I was cursed with dyslexia, A.D.D. and a mind like a sieve when it comes to remembering shit.

Of course using copious amounts of narcotics for most of my adult life didn’t help, neither did drinking booze like a large inebriated fish, or smoking three packs a cigarettes a day like plain unadulterated air just wasn’t good enough. And then let’s not forget my entire adolescence spent doin’ so much marijuana that I couldn’t do anything else except indulge in binge eating sessions of over-refined sugar products that were usually dyed such unnatural colors that you’d a thought them toxic waste – there’s jus’ somethin’ bout those berry flavors.

Although if that had been as bad as it got I mighta been Ok, but hell, that wasn’t even close to the worst of it all as unfortunately according to my client records down at San Francisco’s General Hospital I apparently had quite a few of what could be labeled as “possible brain malfunctioning experiences.” Like the numerous times I OD’ed on heroin, wakin’ up in the emergency room after bein’ flat-line dead for a couple-a-minutes with tubes comin’ outta me at all angles and the nurses standing there wide-eyed as I shook it off denying any and everything that they’re accusing me of having done. Or what’s even more amazing were those undocumented and seemingly impossible recoveries where I’d miraculously regain consciousness days later in some disheveled hotel room, the needle still stuck in my arm, the sheets stiff from my dried blood.

Only to tell ya the truth whether it’s from havin’ survived so many horrendous life threatening ordeals or the resulting acute post traumatic stress I thankfully can’t remember most of the past and that in itself may be part of the problem. Though I’ll definitely admit that there are at least a few good points to being unable to recall what it was that I allegedly did or didn’t do, especially when being accused of half the shit that I’ve supposedly done.

Yet in the long run I do gotta ask myself questions like just how many brain cells did I destroy every time I pushed home the plunger on a hypodermic needle fulla cocaine and heard the resulting crescendo of chaos that always ensued? Just how many shots of hard alcohol were one too many, pickling my already abused brain into the submission of chemical induced retardation? And did these and a few other aforementioned bad habits permanently ensure that my mind’s capacity for thought was greatly impaired for the remainder or my days on earth?

I can tie my shoes and order a meal at a restaurant but sometimes when I’m tryin’ ta grasp a concept or even understand some moderate proposal that even my nextdoor neighbor’s pit bull seems to glean without a moment’s hesitation and I’m left doin’ the one lil’ piggy two lil’ piggy on my fingers and toes as school children run away and laugh. I gotta wonder – am I permanently deranged? Is my brain so mushy fulla holes like Swiss cheese that it even rivals the state of my liver after hepatitis C has done its damage dancin’ around my immune system? And yet there was never a moment when I thought to myself that doin’ any of those things that I used to do was a bad idea and that some day I’d be as mentally challenged as I am. Although maybe I just wasn’t capable of understanding what “irreversible damage” truly meant?

But ya know when I stop freakin’ out, slow down and think back to when I was in grade school, yeah there are moments that seem to jump out at me from the murky obscurity of my brain. Like the time it was photo day and they were handin’ out these baby blue plastic combs so’s that everyone could make sure that their hair was nicely parted and Mister Cotinger, he was the boy’s PE coach and the math teacher and man was he a dick. Well, he was gettin’ all aggravated cause everybody was fuckin’ with the combs makin’ noise runnin’ their fingers real fast up and down along the teeth ta make this zippin’ kinda sound and Mister Cotinger got all puffed up and said for everyone ta put the combs away and that if he heard one more noise he’d kick the shit outta the kid that did it. Unfortunately as I was slippin’ the comb into the back pocket of my Levis the teeth caught and it went Z-Z-Z-Z-I-P and in the silence that ensued you’d a thought somebody’d been shot as Mister Cotinger strode down the hall and knocked me on the side of the head with the flat of his hand.

Damn, now why’d I have ta go and remember something like that? No wonder I used drugs to escape the unrelentingly gritty urban reality that was my life, but anyway what I was gettin’ at before I went off on that personal historical like tangent was that even back then I couldn’t pass an oral exam or a written test to save my life and the only useful vocation I ever got training for was vandalism cause after I stole the screwdriver and screws from woodshop I’d go out to the faculty parking lot every other week and drive a couple-a-screws into the tires of Mister Cotinger’s Grand Am. Yet even to this day baby blue plastic combs, silver Pontiacs and just hearing the words “say cheese” sends me zoning out to where my mind goes blank and I gotta look at my driver’s license to figure out who I am.

But all this spacin’ out and forgetting shit really can’t be just cause I fried what little brain cells I had and now I’m left operating at half capacity starin’ at my golden years as them come strollin’ in ready to settle down makin’ my hair go grayer than it already is.

Just look at all the positive things that I’ve achieved in my life: I don’t do drugs any more, I don’t smoke or eat red meat, I’m no longer a criminal, I actually pay my taxes and I even meditate once a week when I go to my Buddhist 12 Step meeting on Monday nights!

Yet even with all these seemingly constructive things playin’ a role in all my daily affairs it just seems to keep gettin’ worse. I’m even starting to have trouble doin’ stuff that I’ve always done like listen to music, watch TV and read the newspaper at the same time. Only now I gotta really concentrate on one or the other to fully grasp any of it and let’s not even get into my failing eyesight and the fact that I can’t really hear anymore.

So maybe I’m lookin’ at this all wrong? That maybe it’s just senility and I wasn’t that bad off in the first place and now with all this “good for me” shit that I’ve been instigating into my life, I’m just making it worse? Maybe I’m just suffering from a mild case of Alzheimer’s coupled with a little diminished capacity and that’s what’s makin’ me stupid and all I need is a huge double cheese burger, a shot a Demerol and a couple-a-Snickers bars ta put things right in the protein, drug and sugar departments and ultimately fuel my laggin’ soon to be totally incapacitated brain?

This internal debate of mine is startin’ ta cause me some very unnecessary and undue hardship and if I didn’t know any better I coulda sworn that I just thought about lightin’ up a cigarette – there’s just somethin’ about those non-filtered Camels! But then how would I know what I’m really thinking here – I’m fuckin’ stupid!

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