Oh, my beautiful internetees. How I have disappointed you.
Yeah, I know you have been clamoring for my latest post just like deprived children seeking Cap n’ Crunchberries. I am just in such a darn bad mood that I’m having a hard time thinking one up.
First, I thought I would really get personal and talk about sex. I am not really ready for that next step in our relationship, I think. It will be much more special if we wait. Maybe until I’m 50.
Then, I thought I would write a hilarious treatise about the psychological issues revealed in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But I got stuck on page 32 and decided that I would just save that for my masters thesis.
So, here we both are.
Writer’s block. Pretty typical, right?
Don’t you ever wonder where all the ideas go when you don’t have them in your head? Maybe there is a fantastic place that your subconscious goes whenever you are not using it effectively. My guess? My subconscious is super mad at me for avoiding my book and therefore has gone to the Brain Pub.
Brain Pub, you ask? No. Really. This is an actual place. Ask your subconscious about it sometime, though. It will never tell. You want to know why?
The first rule of Brain Pub is: there is no Brain Pub.
The second rule of Brain Pub is: Orange esophagus ride donkey wieners.
Picture if you will:
On this particular night, you have been prompted to sit down and write your book, or your song, or play the piano, or some other creative endeavor. Instead, you watch “Being Human” because its way more realistic than the idea of you actually doing any creative work. Ghost girlfriend? Totally. Chapter 11? Not a chance.
Your brain then does what it always does in this situation. It calls the Brain Cab and goes out with its brain friends. That way, no one is ever in danger of having to drive home intoxicated.
Let us hitch a ride for a moment, and see what your brain would like to show you if you were paying any attention.
The Brain Cab takes your brain (We’ll call it Brian, Brian the Brain)…your BRIAN, down to Brain Land. You are digging on the other people’s brains as you go by. “Look! There’s Pauly Shore’s brain,” you say. “That’s so amazing,” you say.
Your brain shakes its grey head sadly. “I’m pretty sure it’s lost. He’s here every time I come.”
You have to admit, you are a little interested to see what your brain does when its off-duty. The cab passes buildings that look like offices, where hundreds and thousands of brains are relentlessly going over calculations. Haggard, sore brains sit in office chairs doing taxes, figuring monthly budgets and endlessly counting ceiling tiles.
Wow, you think. Some people’s brains just keep working. You shudder.
You pass a group of stressed out brains, they definitely look female, their grey matter covered in rouge and lipstick, chatting quickly with the other brains. As you watch, you can see each pop into view and then pop quickly out again, as if by magic. By straining, you can make out snatches of conversation.
“I just don’t know whether to do karate lessons or ballet lessons! She’s just so timid…”
“If he doesn’t apologize to the teacher, I just know he is going to fail Algebra II…”
“Where are my keys, where are my keys, where are my keys, where are my keys….”
“Who are they,” you ask, noting another female brain popping out of existence.
“Mother brains,” Brian says. “They never really stay here very long.”
Other brains look intensely pleased to be here. You have to ask your guide what makes the difference between these happy brains and the ones who are overworked and underpaid? How content the ones looking into Brain Candy Shop windows and walking down the autumn-colored Memory Lane, never self-conscious about letting out a little brain fart now and then. The stark alternative is the scared and stressed brains gibbering about work, relationships and finances.
Brian looks at you wryly and says, “It’s all about the person with the pants. Know what I mean?”
You are confused for a moment, and then you realize what he’s saying. How many times have you forced your brain to keep on going, even when it wanted to stop instead of letting your brain relax and zen out in the wonderful beyond? Instead of letting it gather information and think of wonderful things to tell you about at that place where conscious and unconscious meet, you were whipping it with doubts, torturing it with fears, and bludgeoning it with mental demands.
For a minute, your eyes are downcast. Your face is flushed and you try to speak. Brian shushes you with a wave of his hand.
“It’s okay. That’s not what I brought you here to see.”
The cab turns a corner, and suddenly, in a flash of brilliant colored gel lights, the Brain Pub illuminates the road where sunset seems to be creeping in. He gives the cabbie a tip, and escorts you to the front of the place. No waiting. Just down the red carpet and past the black velvet curtains.
And there you see them. Just a glimpse and your breath has flown away like a nightingale at dawn. Kofi Annan, Dave Brubeck, Georgia O’Keefe, Stephen King..the list is seemingly endless. These are your muses, your heroes, each with a glass of something and eager faces. They talk and laugh with one another, justifying, arguing, sobbing, and singing. John Lennon sits with Yoko, naked and smoking a water bong.
“What is this?”
Brian gestures to the room. “This is the place where the dreamers come. The artists, writers and philosophers. When they are not using their brains, they put them here. This is the place every brain wants to be, its just that not every brain knows how to get here.”
He leads you to the table towards the front. One of the Ceasars sits next to you, nursing a mug of mead and talking to jittery Andy Warhol.
The room quiets. You feel the wonderful expectation of the room rise and fall like a thing alive.
“What is happening?” you say.
“A new idea is about to be born,” he whispers.
As you look, the curtain opens and you see the thing. It is like a shining prism of light, glowing and pulsing with passion and energy. It seems to sing, a deep rhythmic sound that falls on your skin like wedding rice, bounding across the room and pulling men and women to their feet in thunderous, gasping applause.
And then you are back in your own brain, sitting in front of your TV, and you feel a tiny spark of an idea. It’s for a story, a poem, or a new picture. Maybe its that thing you have been trying to remember for days, or even years. You suddenly know how to fix the toaster or how you can get that one kid to stop being a jerk in 4th period.
As you get up to catch the idea, capture the moment, you can almost feel your brain laughing good-heartedly at you.
“Lighten up,” it says. “Even brains need a vacation now and then.”