Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inside my head is a scary place...

I’ve come to the conclusion that my head is a scary place to be, mainly because I think my brain is out to get me. I’m pretty sure of this, too. I’m sure those of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. Those moments when you think about something and you can’t let it go or you’re writing a scene to your short story or novel and you’re so far into it that you feel as though you’re the one it’s actually happening to. It seems to happen most when I’m writing a particularly horrible scene---like a death, an argument that spirals out of control, physical violence, that sort of thing. And when I finally remember to breathe and push away from the computer, I realize that I’m still stuck in some dark place and I can’t get out. I float around in a daze, brain-numb and off-kilter, as if I’m caught in some weird half-awake/half-asleep limbo. It makes me wonder if that’s why there’s such a heavy association between writers and booze. I mean, writers can either use booze as a shield or a catalyst for that dark place. Me, personally, I’ve tried writing while drinking (or drinking while writing) and I can’t concentrate.
At all.
But even when I’m not writing or drinking, my brain is still lying in wait for me. Case in point:
          My mom and I were bridal-shower-shopping at the mall. We made the decision to split up---she went to Boscov’s and I went to JCPenney’s. We actually do this a lot; it makes the chore of shopping a little less like a torture device. The sooner it’s over, the better off we are.
          So as we went our separate ways, we agreed to meet back at Boscov’s in an hour, by the downstairs escalators.
          An hour of painful shopping ensued until finally, finally , the hour to meet up was near. I arrived at our rendezvous. I didn’t see my mom anywhere so I waited, thinking that she probably got hung up in the purse department, which she has a habit of doing. (Truthfully, those purses are as bad as my brain when it comes to ensnaring.)
          Minutes ticked by. Then more minutes as I waited and waited.
          And waited some more.
Thirty minutes went by before I called her cell phone.
          “Where are you?” I demanded with barely restrained annoyance.
          “Where do you think? I’m by the escalators,” Mom said, indignantly. “Where are you?”
          “I’m at the escalators too!”
          “No, you’re not!”
          “Ma, I’m at the escalators in Boscov’s and I don’t see you anywhere.”
          “Dear,” she said pointedly, her tone matching mine. “If we’re in the same place how could we not be seeing each other?”
          “I have no freaking idea,” I began to snap as I looked up.
My brain short-circuited out.
          The signs hanging above my head…
          The bags that the shoppers carried as they jostled around me…
They all had a big red star on them.
My jaw dropped to my feet. “Oh my God,” I murmured.
          “I’m in Macy’s.”
          “Macy’s? How the hell did you end up there?”
I slapped a hand to my forehead. “I thought I was in Boscov’s.”
I walked out of the Macy’s with my mother’s hysterical laughter ringing in my ears.
          Oh yes.
          My brain?
          Has a target on my back.

Hahaha! You are hilarious Melissa. While I'm no drinker I am sometimes absent minded and easily distracted when invested my brain isn't tethered. Thank you so much for having the gumption to share that.


  1. Thanks for having me, Bri! Your website is awesome!!!

  2. Drinking and writing are a dangerous combination. Can't say I haven't done it, but only when I'm in the mood for heavy editing the next day.
    Fun post!

  3. Love it, Melissa! Been there, done that and I can't find the t-shirt for it! I think it got sucked into the blackhole of oblivion!

  4. Drinking and writing only works in movies. Great post Melissa. Your mall story made me laugh

  5. I don't have the shopping gene most women (and all of my friends) do. The mall is often a painful shopping experience for me especially with a bunch of teenage girls. But we all need to buy clothes at some point so I'm forced to do it.

    I can have a nice glass of wine and write, anything harder like a delicious Tanquerey and tonic and I'll have to delete most of what I wrote.

    Great story of you and your mom. You both sound like a lot of fun

  6. Hi Bri and Melissa
    I like your mall story. Love cell phones. My daughter and I always find each other that way. But my funniest story about shopping with her is the time she wore these lovely heels and I commented how she was going to shop in those. "I wear heels all the time. I'll be fine." Well guess who ended up wearing the heels, yes me who hasn't worn heels in years. At least we wear the same size.