I have so much to do.
This is the theme of my life right now. I have a lot to do and I don’t use all my time as wisely as I often should. Though sometimes I get into fits of productivity and stay up all night getting things done. Either way I go to bed exhausted and then roll around for hours turning myself into a sweaty blanket burrito, fretting about how much I have to do.
In these times my brain is actually an asshole. My brain does not want to do anything in the time given.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us,” says Gandalf, sagely, to my brain.
“You are not the boss of me. Stupid wizard,” returns my brain, defiantly. No, not even defiantly. It’s said with more of a snarl of indifference than anything else. Everything my brain says bears a vaguely French accent the way an actor who is not Meryl Streep (therefore not great at accents) would play French. My brain wears a beret un-ironically. And is always smoking a cigarette in a pretentious holder.
“Ah, I am so tired,” my brain insists, with a French twist. “We need the sleeping now. Right now.” So it orders my body to stop functioning and my hapless limbs obey it because they’re minions with no self-realization. My brain drags us all to bed, eyes barely open, feet hardly able to walk the handful of steps from the couch to my room. And my brain throws us into the cocoon of bed, exhausted, drained, useless. Then, just before we sink beneath the waves of slumber, “Hey, idiot, did you lock the door? I don’t think you did.” So we all get up to check: me, myself, my parts. My brain chuckles. Of course the door was locked, it’s always locked, stupid brain. “I am not the stupid one here,” my brain sniffs. “Look at you! Go to sleep, you are a mess.” And just as we sink back beneath the soothing waves of black nothingness, my brain jumps up. It jabs us with the cigarette. “Hey, you did not send the email! God, you did not write for the blog either.”
I’m awake now. This is every night. My brain lounges on the bed, one leg swung carelessly over the other, foot in perpetual lazy motion, smoke wreathing around the beret. It points the cigarette at me to punctuate words. And we have exchanges like this:
Me: Go to sleep. We can send the email in the morning.
Brain: Ah, but I have some ideas for it now. Some really great sentences.
Me: C’mon I’m tired! It can wait. I’ll remember.
Brain: Will you? *smugly* Why should I remember what you are too lazy to write down now?
Me: I’m not lazy, I’m human. I need sleep.
Brain: Pfft. Know what else, though? That blog post? It should start with ‘This is not your ordinary review...’. It’s good, no? Write that down.
Me: Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. *pulls pillow over face*
Brain: *blowing smoke rings* You won’t. You lazy good-for-nothing. But speaking of tomorrow, don’t forget you have to clean the makeup brushes and take out the garbage and you have to go to the store because we are out of some things. We need milk. We need bread. We need paper towels. We need apples. We need persimmons.
Me: I don’t really even know what a persimmon is.
Brain: You should learn that. Ignorance is not an excuse. Also: persimmon. Persimmon. Such a love-a-ly word.
Me: Please fuck off and let me sleep.
Brain: Such foul language! Such crass ugliness! That is something else I have been meaning to bring up: your lack of elegance. You need to work on the patience and the classiness. You are a foul-mouthed lazy creature.
Me: *watches a parade of memories of times I was indeed a foul-mouthed lazy creature behind my eyelids*
Brain: You see? And also in 2002, so many times. And that big one in 2004. I will show you.
Me: *groans* LET. ME. SLEEP.
Brain: Hey, *reclines on one elbow* how is your play coming along?
I have so much to do and yet my own brain hates me and my body may be out to kill me. Can a body be in a civil war with itself? My eyes may revolt. I’m fairly certain my lungs are teaming up with my intestines to stage a coup. And my brain, when it can be bothered to pay attention to anything but waking me up with minor coronaries every hour on the hour at night, seems not to care. “You all are nothing without me,” it scoffs.
I think about the time Homer Simpson’s brain climbed out of his skull and said “You can stay if you want but I’m out here” before walking off. I am also reminded of Dr. Strangelove’s weirdly uncontrollable Nazi-sympathizing arm.
This may not end well.
- Corinne Simpson