Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Mind is a Terrible Thing (Or How I Waste Mine)

"You would run much slower if you were dragging something behind you, like a knapsack or a sheriff." - Lemony Snicket

I get SO CAUGHT UP in stuff sometimes. There was a point in my life (in the, admittedly, not-too-distant past), when I had to stop playing computer Solitaire. It wasn't that I LOVED Solitaire so much that I was addicted to it. It was more that every time I played I got lost in my own world. 
Yes, she is absolutely nuts...

I would create this whole storyline in my head where someone (usually a king or a Jack...but every now and again it would be a queen) would turn against the kingdom and would exact painful torture methods against the other cards. Or sometimes, it would be a war they were plotting (clubs and spades vs. hearts and diamonds). There were villains and heroes. There were innocent bystanders and ne'er-do-wells. The weird part is that I would do it completely unknowingly and would basically "come to" an hour or so later after some emotionally wrenching scene I concocted on the screen and in my head. (I have no idea what's wrong with just don't ask.) 

Anyway, I had to stop playing Solitaire because I would not only lose time but I really started CARING about all those weird little people I was fantasizing about in my head. I figured if I stopped playing Solitaire the creativity in my brain would seep out into my life. No such luck.

No worries, though: I have a NEW OBJECT OF FASCINATION. He doesn't know it. But I think about him ALL THE TIME.

So, about 4 or 5 years ago, this guy started running from my neighborhood. Literally. He ran away from my neighborhood daily.  And this guy is not your typical runner guy. He wears a baseball cap. And camo shorts. And, over the years, his red hair has gotten longer. He is my own personal Forest Gump because, and here's the kicker: I imagine that he runs all the time.

I see him at different stages of his run. Sometimes he's on this road. Sometimes, he's on that road. His speed never seems to vary and his outfit never changes. But his hair grows longer. He wears it in a pony tail now.

So, I pass him. In my car. And I fight (truly, I FIGHT IT) the urge to pull over and start talking to him. 

"Hey, Running Guy," I imagine myself saying. "Why do you wear camo shorts? Are you hiding from the law? What are you running from? What do you think about on all these long miles logged in your Nikes? Running Guy, do you hold the secret to life?"

I have several different life-scenarios for Running Guy. In one, he's lost his entire family in the Plague of 2008 and he runs to escape the pain and to connect with his young son whose only joy had been to run like the wind blows. In another, he's running because if he stops he is sure to pick up the crack pipe again...the addiction that cost him his shot in the FBI...

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Some people have over active bladders. I have an overactive imagination. I don't think Pfizer makes enough drugs to help me. All I can do is sit...and think...and hope that the Running Guy stops running before I become a verified stalker. 

Do you get all caught up in weird things that you (seemingly) have no control over? How do YOU handle yourself? 

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