For some reason my brain seems to be a tad numb today. Like the synapses aren’t firing or my serotonin uptake is at an all time low. Although speaking less clinically maybe it’s from having just survived the holiday, or the rainy weather, or too much sleep or a few thousand other things that I can’t think of right now because, well, because my brains numb.
All day long I’ve been at a loss of what to do and of what to say. People talk to me and as usual I see their lips moving yet I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is that they are trying to communicate. When the phone rings I just pick it up and hold it to my face, completely silent as the person on the other end prattles away. “Hello? HELLO!!! Dude, are you there?”
This morning at my local coffee shop I signaled the guy behind the counter who’s named Pauli for my usual latte and then when he yammered on about his Thanksgiving weekend I just sort of stood there nonplused nodding at what I hoped were the appropriate intervals and thought about nothing, and I do mean nothing, until he handed me the latte and I was able to get out of there.
Usually there’s at least a tiny semblance of thought going on in my brain. Usually there’s at least this continuous barrage of those unwanted useless questions that plaque me whenever I’m bored, overstressed or my mind starts to wander. Incessantly asking things like am I going get shit for being late again for work or did I lock the front door to my house when I left this morning? Is my car’s roof gonna leak, are my clients still waiting for me at the rehab, am I going to make it to the dentist before this temporary cap splinters off and the nerve ending are exposed to the elements? But today, there is nothing, not even the dull throb of a headache, not even a repressed memory or two from long ago, not even the tiniest thought of what I’m doing or where I’m headed for.
It’s sort of like there’s this void in my brain – an empty space being set aside for a later date. Only I haven’t made plans for anything and if anyone called to invite me to go somewhere I’d just sit there not responding, a vacant look on my face, content with nothing planned, nothing scheduled – nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing…
After leaving the coffee shop latte in hand I walked to my car, got in, and just sat there. A bright yellow Lamborghini pulled up next to me and the driver honked. Obviously he wanted my parking place. I could see him through the window making these “are you leaving?” hand gestures and again I just sat there and stared at this person as he continued to make what looked like shadow puppets with his hands. After about five minutes of his going on with his fingers flashing in all directions he abruptly stopped, honked his horn for the second time and then gave me the finger as he drove off.
Looking down at my own hands I noticed that they were dry and a bit rough around the edges. This sudden change in the weather is raising havoc on my skin. My hands dryness makes doing things like typing and playing music hard. Sitting there staring at them made me self-conscious, made me feel aware of myself sitting there in my car, the moisture from my breath steaming up the closed windows as people walked by outside on the sidewalk.
Yet being there reminded me of just the other day when I was driving downtown as this latest storm was beginning and the traffic backed up and I sort of started to feel overwhelmed. Not like “go crazy insane” overwhelmed. But more like depression setting in as my self-esteem took a nose dive and it was all I could do to pull the car over to the curb and sit there, the engine idling, as I listened to the waves of raindrops hitting the roof directly above my head.
To be totally honest I had been out of sorts as of late exhibiting old unhealthy behaviors like eating badly all weekend and it had been at least two weeks since I had last worked out. For quite sometime now I’ve been avoiding all the things that I need to do for myself in order for me to stay sane. The day before, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, I’d kind of known that this moment was coming; like being in a car crash you just sort of linger, helpless, waiting for the impact.
Sitting there in my car as it stormed overhead a drop of water landed on my shoulder and I looked up and saw the worn area where my convertible leaks. I seem to remember that Danny left me a note telling me how to fix it. Like everything else in my life I just hadn’t gotten around to doing it yet. Some errant thought about the canvas top needing to be dry before it can be patched came and went, exiting my brain just as quickly as it entered. A distant and somewhat obscure memory about lowered imported sports cars having air intakes too close to the ground so that it becomes a problem when you drive through deep puddles flirted with my consciousness and was gone.
The windshield wipers were still moving back and forth as the defroster defogged the lower part of the windshield. In the middle of the street there was a homeless guy in a wheelchair weaving in and around the oncoming cars screaming his head off about god knows what. I could barely hear his shouts over the sounds of the rain and the traffic. Yet I could see him pushing himself forward, his mouth contorting as he yelled. His rain soaked body tense in his wheelchair momentarily visible between the passing cars, his arm periodically raised making threatening gestures towards the drivers in the vehicles that were swerving into the other lanes as they tried to avoid him.
A second later he was directly outside my window mouthing noises that sounded vaguely like words yet the intensity of his incoherency was so apparent that it really didn’t matter what he was saying as we both sat there staring at each other. His eyes bloodshot and yellow, his rain drenched hair plastered to the top of his head. As he reached out towards me I could see the nicotine stains on his fingers, but for some reason this guy’s flailing hands didn’t remind me of shadow puppets sticking out of the frayed cuffs of his jacket. The desperate pleading look on his face was all I needed to see to know that there was nothing that I could do for him short of dragging him out of his wheelchair and into my car to get him out of the rain. But then what? I’d have a screaming maniac in my car with me and nowhere to take him.
Pulling back out into traffic I looked up into my rearview mirror and watched as the guy in the wheelchair slowly disappeared into the traffic and the falling rain. Feeling my shoulder I noticed that my jacket was soaking wet. Turning up the stereo the thud of the bass reverberates, shaking the car, resounding in my ears as I drove home.
Yet today, sitting here at my desk, in front of my computer thinking about sitting in my car those couple of times I’m struck with the irony of it all. Lamborghini’s to wheelchairs as the rain continues to pour outside and my mood sinks. I guess my brain started working again. So maybe I’m not as numb as I thought I was. Another dark day of depression and I’m jonesing for sugar and a long nap in my warm bed. Only instead I’m getting off of my ass and walking over to the health food store for groceries and then when I get back I’m gonna do a few sit-ups and then some push ups and maybe, just maybe, if this rain lets up I’ll run down to Aquatic Park although if I patched my car’s top I could just drive down and back instead.