I am very impressionable. Seriously. My subconscious is a sponge. A super porous, extra absorbent sponge. If my brain were toilet paper, it would be Charmin Ultra. Actually, that’s a good analogy, considering the amount of crap my brain soaks up.
When I expose myself to a certain kind of media for extended periods of time, I start to think in that form. For example, if I read graphic novels I see my life in panels of images, and everyone has thought bubbles over their heads.
Novels will have me narrating my every action in the protagonist’s voice: She walked down the stairs, contemplating the day ahead. Now that she had the magic talisman in her possession, her travels were bound to get more…interesting. But first! — her morning coffee and toast.
And you probably don’t want to be around me when I’m reading Dostoevsky. One hundred pages into Crime and Punishment and suddenly I’m sulking about town, glaring at everyone and muttering like a crazy person, a disturbing inner monologue running through my head.
My sister is like this too. I remember a few years ago she told me she’d been feeling depressed. Sad, melancholic, nostalgic for something…but she didn’t know what. She felt lost. Being the loving sister that I am, I banned her from listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks (which she played pretty much constantly). A few days later I asked how she felt.
Fantastic! she said. And less like I just got separated from the only eight people in the world I can trust!
So, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. Mostly the previously mentioned and wondrously funny Hamish & Andy show. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Hamish and Andy are two young Australian fellas who just sit around and be silly. Totally my kind of guys!
Should I be surprised, then, when I noticed that my internal monologue has shifted so that I’m constantly being interviewed? By two guys who joke around a lot? No, no, I shouldn’t.
I should, however, be slightly concerned that in this internal narration I have an Australian accent. And everything I do is so fabulous and interesting — I’m on all the time. It’s like a reality show for the radio.
Hamish: So, Sarah, tell us what you did today!
Andy: Yes, we can’t wait to hear the details.
Me: Well, I went to the gym…
Andy: No, you didn’t! NO, YOU DIDN’T!
Me: Yes, and I ate some sushi…
Hamish: STOP! STOP! I can’t BREATHE!
Voice Over: P-P-P-PLATINUM SARAH!
I’m not alone in this. Right? Other people narrate their lives?
How to prepare the skull for surgery, brain exposed, c. 16th century © Brain Blogger – Flickr
Feature Photo, Optimal Brain Function, by Tonystl