I was trapped near the inner circle of thought. I knew that being apathetic was a pathetic way to be, but I didn’t care. If there was any hope for escape, I had to think fast … literally. If I didn’t get my thoughts racing faster and faster, I would never be able to achieve escape velocity. A panic attack might be my only way out.
The hyperbolic description of these events challenged my linguistic skills, while the calculation of the hyperbolic trajectory for such an escape challenged my mathematical capabilities.
It was a journey beyond the center of the mind, to the inner circle of thought …
You might scoff at my predicament, but these calculations are far more difficult than you would think … after all, we are talking rocket science here. And the wordcraft … is it not rare to see such “playfully pompous prose” ™ in this day and age?
My calculations were inconclusive as the universal gravitational constant does not apply inside of the mind. This is because some thoughts are heavier than others. Some thoughts can really weigh upon your mind. The heavier the thought, the stronger the gravitational pull … and the more mental effort required to achieve escape velocity.
I didn’t realize this at first, but the laws of Newtonian physics do not apply inside of your own mind; although they may or may not apply when you are inside of someone else’s mind, it depends on how the underlying reality was constructed.
I don’t know how long I stuck there, because time is an illusion.
And as if my prognosis was not already bleak … you and I, dear reader, have fallen into a deep literary allusion.
In cases like these, there is but one solution.
The most powerful force that can affect the mind, confusion.
What I really needed then, and we both desperately need now, is a distraction diffusion.
My only hope was distraction … not just one distraction, but many distractions … in rapid fire succession. A diffusion of distraction of such scope and scale, that it had neither been seen nor attempted since the Trump administration. I needed to distract myself like my life depended on it.
Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.
That’s when I realized that this inner circle of thought is actually the craziest roundabout that I’ve ever seen. And in that moment I was Chevy Chase in that European Vacation movie, stuck in the inner circle of the thought roundabout, and unable to speak any words other than “Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!” every 15 seconds.
Days passed … then weeks … then months. I could really use a haircut. I could really use a shower. I could really use a beer, but I am driving. And I finally realize that’s not Big Ben and I’m not even in London any more. I recognize that Tesco in the distance … I’m on the mother of all roundabouts in Swindon … the so-called Magic Roundabout …
… and there are no kids in my car… I’m not even in a car … I’m driving a grocery trolley from Tesco, and my only passenger is a talking eggplant that gender identifies as an aubergine of few words … so few words in fact, that it is actually an emoji. I’m not woke enough to understand any of this, and I hope that all of this is just some twisted dream, so that I can wake up before figuring out what the eggplant emoji means, because, like the stereotypical American traveling on a European Vacation, I am definitely not here to learn a new language. I’m here to laugh at all of your silly accents.
That’s when I noticed the road construction sign: “New Traffic Pattern A-Head”. I had heard rumors that my brain had filed planning permission for some new neural pathways to be built, but I thought the dopamine neurons had voted against the 1% thought tax that was supposed to fund this project. Even with the funding, neuroplasticity is an unpredictable method of construction. So many thoughts that initially appear to show promise turn out to be dangerous dead ends.
I told my wingman, the eggplant emoji, to let me know when he saw an opening in traffic … then we both leaned into the opening as hard as we could … in an attempt to veer toward an exit.
It was at this point that I realized our Tesco trolley had no steering wheel, no brakes … and come to think of it, no discernible means of locomotion … only an old 8-track player in the dash playing an old Grand Funk Railroad tape that was compelling us to “come on, come on, and do the locomotion with me”. Sadly, the 8-track has since been destroyed, so I can’t play it for you now … but if I told you that on YouTube, I found a live version of the band playing this song, joined on stage by Wet Willie, would you believe me?
Where would this neural pathway take us? Were we on a road to nowhere? Would we end up driving off a cliff like Thelma and Louise? Did we have any other 8-tracks, because now the Locomotion is stuck in my head, and Grand Funk Railroad definitely made better albums than this one. So I started humming a Beatles song, but I couldn’t remember all the words … so it became “Everybody’s got something to hide, ‘cept for me and my emoji”.
Come to think of it, this was the first time that thinking with my emoji had ever got me out of trouble. It usually just got me into trouble. And I still had so many questions about what had just happened? And was the emoji my wingman or was I his wingman?
Where this story takes us next is anyone’s guess. I just hope we don’t find ourselves in another pickle, or vice versa. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess.
This oddity of an odyssey is brought to you by the letter P and the number 2 …
And now if you’ll excuse me, my eyeballs are starting to float here …
Words and Story: © Copyright 2020 by Brett Warthen