November 17, 1996

My mother's mother had a condition that caused
her to have lots of little strokes.
It was annoying.

She'd recover from the last series and - BAM - she'd wake up and not be able to mover her left leg. These small strokes were dress rehearsal for The Big One.

My mother explained that my grandmother died from a sort of heart attack in her head. I wondered why in the hell my grandmother would keep her heart in her head. Although it did explain why my mother always thought she was so stupid. After all, you'd have to get rid of a big chunk of brain to stick your heart up there.

Even after my mother straighten me out about the whole brain attack thing, I was fascinated by it all. Somehow, inside that five pound mass of nerve Jello, you are. All your experiences, even the ones you forget, are there, effecting you. All the feelings, impulses and mistakes begin as chemical exchanges we don't understand. If we ever do understand the relays that go on, it will be because some one's chemicals finally made the right connection. It's like infinity.

They, you know them, the committee of things, have been looking at the brain for years and have found many interesting things. For instance, older people can stave off the effects of Alzheimer's by learning new things. (My girlfriend always thought it was Old Timer's disease.) Walking is great for this because of the increased amount of oxygen to the brain. The slow speed also allows for many observations and hence loads of brain activity. I often wonder if those old people we hear about that get lost in the woods are actually trying to cure themselves by taking a leisurely stroll.

My brain scares me most of the time. My girlfriend says that's because I'm unconscious of my consciousness. In other words, I am heavily right brained. She on the other hand, only has a right brain so her head doesn't cave in.

I've recently developed an oddity: I've been substituting words so my sentences make even less sense than usual. For instance, I asked my girlfriend to, "get the cheese out of the car so I can grate it for the floors". What I meant was, "get the cheese out of the fridge so I can grate it for the burritos". It's always a noun for a noun. I'm not concerned about this because I just switched jobs and don't have health insurance, so I can't possibly be sick. What a relief that is!

Over the years, my brain and I have come up with some theories. Here's just a few.

All aspects of life are measured out. Your heart has a predetermined number of beats. Once it reaches that number, bye-bye. This goes for everything. Alcoholism occurs when the predetermined amount of booze is reached and you don't have the decency to stop. Karmakly speaking, you are stealing some one else's share. (I tried looking KARMIKALY up in the dictionary and couldn't find it. That means I get to chose the spelling! I haven't decided yet.)I figure there are whole villages in Finland that are a few quarts shy because of me.

Apathy, not hate or passion, is what does the most damage to society. Just look at America. The Religious Right is able to run crap like the Defense of Marriage Act through because most people are absolutely neutral. Just think about it. What a horrible place this would be if we were all neutral about everything. It would be like another Switzerland! And just look what that would get us. Clean streets, seventy to eighty percent voter turnout and everyone fluent in at least three languages. O.K., so maybe this neutrality thing works in other countries but we just can't handle it.

Lots of information is kept from us because we can't spell. It's some sort of plot by the Webster people. The other day I heard an odd pop in my head - sort of like a brain fart and then I saw shooting lights. I immediately thought, Anerism!

Think about it, I've got eight minutes to live. I go to the dictionary to find out what the symptoms of an anorism are and I can't find it. Keep in mind that an annerism is one of the most lethal things to happen in your body and I can't find out anything about them because I can't find it because I can't spell it! If I've only got five minutes left, I want to know. Maybe I'd spend the time differently knowing it was my last moments on earth but so far I've wasted half of it looking up what's killing me!!!

Remember, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Just say no! and most of all, this is your brain on drugs.


Dear Readers,

I'm sorry this column is so late getting posted. My life has been a big bowl of chaos lately and I just haven't had time to share. Very selfish of me, and I plan to put an end to it. The selfish acts, not the life!!

Thanks for the patients and the mail.


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Copyright, 1997 by Laura Jiménez.