Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Zen 13

And now: a few unrelated thoughts...that may, in the end, seem to have been related to each other.

Part 1
Sometimes I think of my brain as this big room...or maybe kind of like a dirty basement filled with cardboard boxes that aren't properly labeled and stacks of books that have lost their dust jackets and sometimes there are small creatures that gnaw away at various and sundry items that were once in the process of being sorted, but now they are in a state of organized chaos and collecting dust. Also, there's a troll named Huey.

I envy other people's brains that must seem like well kept offices with organized file cabinets and dust-less bookshelves and possibly a window with flowy/gauzy curtains gently swaying in the wind. They are functional rooms that are pleasant to work in and, though they may temporarily become messy due to stressful circumstances, they almost always end up being sorted out, cleaned and returned to a state of moderate organization. I feel like this is what Jessie's brain must look like on the inside. Ashley's, too. They probably don't have stupid trolls living in those offices, either.

But me, I'm stuck with this dusty, windowless, troll-inhabited brain. I keep lots of stuff in here. I tuck away stupid things like the fact that one of my favorite customers, Michelle, at Vroman's is redecorating her house in a mexican cantina theme. OR, that nearly fifteen years ago, I went over to my friend Nikki's house just after her dad had repainted her room and noticed that he'd accidentally touched her ceiling with two of his fingers covered in dusty-rose colored paint leaving two oval-shaped prints just above the head of her bed. WHY do I remember this crap? It doesn't do anybody one bit of good...least of all me. It just clutters up the basement where I keep the stuff that is actually useful in the same unkempt state as the clutter.

AND, no matter how often I sit down and try to sort things out, it just ends up messier than when I began. That's because Huey tries to help, but he's just a manifestation of my Id, and therefore represents my chaotic, illogical desire to remain in an emotional state of disarray.

And, Huey's right, I guess. I'm kind of attached to the way things go in here. In high school, my teacher Mrs. Jones told my that my brain was an abyss of useless knowledge. I took that as a compliment since she was my scholar bowl coach telling me to memorize the pulitzer prize winners in fiction by year and title...they're all still in there somewhere, I guess...but I still get Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow confused for some reason.

Part 2
The Venerable Bede was this 8th century English monk who wrote The Ecclesiastical History of England. It turns out that he didn't actually get the title "Venerable" until after he died when there was a latin typo on his gravestone that, instead of saying "here lie the venerable bones of Bede" said "here lie the bones of Venerable Bede." But still, the name stuck and somehow, he must have been worthy of the title or it WOULDN'T have stuck (kind of like the fact that cliches are cliches for a reason.)

I'm kind of sad that we don't necessarily endow noteworthy people with specialized monikers or designations like "The Venerable" or "The Lionhearted" or "The Terrible" anymore. We give well known people nicknames, sometimes, I guess. I mean, you know who I'm talking about if I just say the letter "W," or if I refer to "The Material Girl" you know that I mean Madonna...right?

I guess what I'm saying is that the time honored tradition of adding an adjective to someone's name should be reinstated. I would like to nominate myself for one or more of the following name designations, and I suggest you come up with some for yourselves as well.

Laura The Perpetually Flustered
Laura The Flatfooted
Laura The Relentlessly Loquacious
Laura The Terrible

I know "The Terrible" has already been taken by Ivan. But I kind of like the idea that, if my name were to preceed my presence in any situation (ie, Hey! Laura the Terrible might stop by later.) and there are people who don't know me yet, they will be intimidated and fearful, but then, when they meet me and realize that I'm really kind of not so terrible (I hope...or maybe I'm deluding myself) they will be pleasantly surprised!

No comments: