My Brain On Crack

  • My Brain On Crack

    8:00 pm

    It’s getting dark outside, not completely dark but more like the last purple-orange bits of sunset dark, The kind of dark when people can start to see into your windows if you have the lights on. Before I turn the lights on, I close the window blinds, carefully angling them downward so that people below (I’m on the second floor) can’t see in.

  • My Brain On Crack,  Whole New World

    Here There Be Tygers**

    It took a few weeks of living in Mexico to realize how scared I’ve been. It’s probably residual trauma left from being mugged the first 5 minutes I arrived the LAST time I was in Mexico, which resulted in a broken leg (and the addition of 15 unwelcome pounds), but I think it’s more than that.

  • Magical,  My Brain On Crack

    Losing Touch

    My beloved and I had an argument-thing today. It was brief. The gist was this: I interrupt him. Often. Multiple times a day. And I am unaware of doing it. This is, of course, Not Good. It is a sign that my brain is not functioning as per normal. We parsed the offending conversation, down to (what seemed like) the nanosecond. This is what happened during The Interruption: He talked. He paused. Then my talking-machinery ground into action, causing me to talk. Meanwhile, he was still talking, but I had no idea he was still talking. Oops. Interruptus Maximus. Evidently this kind of thing happens All The Time. I am…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Where Did My Brain Go??

    Guess what it’s like, knowing that you used to be pretty capable and smart but now you struggle remembering a thing from just 5 minutes ago, and your vocabulary is down at least three notches, and many days it’s hard to even make words? Go on, guess. No wait, I’ll tell you. It’s scary. And it totally sucks. I don’t know whether my abilities will ever return. Maybe they will. I hope they will. I know now that my two brain surgeries from over three years ago aren’t responsible for these deficits. For a long time I thought, well my brain is just healing and needs time. Fuck healing. I have…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Goodnight, Mensa

    My dad belonged to a group for smart people called Mensa. As a child I imagined the meetings as a bunch of guys standing around talking logarithmic equations in their white short-sleeved button-down shirts with skinny ties, with pens protruding from their pocket protectors. Maybe a slide rule poking out of a back pocket. My dad had to take a test to get into Mensa. Mensa means “table” in Latin. There are now about 134,000 members around the world. My dad was very proud of the fact that he had been tested at a 165 IQ or maybe 190, and he was obviously a card-carrying Mensa member. I mean, really.…

  • My Brain On Crack

    My Broken Brain, Part Two

    My brain has a new curfew. It’s not allowed to make words past 7 pm. This is to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings between me and my beloved, who keeps telling me I don’t make sense when in fact I know I am making perfect sense. We cannot both be right. My brain must abdicate and I must learn to live with it. But this is a hard, hard thing for some one who grew up thinking that to be Right was to be Good, and to be Good meant being worthy of being alive. Ergo, to give up being Right feels a little like death. Or the imminent prospect of death,…

  • My Brain On Crack

    I Am Scared Now

    I was so excited to go to the library today. It had been years since I set foot in a library. The last time was, well, I cannot remember when the last time was, I just remember that it had a row of computers that always seemed in use. And the end of the rows were marked with papers that said which kind of books could be found there. I read a lot then. I even read several biographies, which was weird but oddly satisfying. I can remember many details about the library but not where or when it was. None of this should surprise me, given how things went…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    My Beautiful Broken Brain

    There is a documentary out called My Beautiful Broken Brain, about a woman learning to communicate again after her brain injury. I keep meaning to watch it. But I just realized I don’t need to watch it — I am living it. It turns out that I am not as invincible as I once thought. Repairable, yes. Invincible, no. I have permanent brain injury. Brain damage. My brain got jostled about during its two surgeries, and it was even shifted over to one side for a few months, which I am now told is a Bad Thing. Some people don’t recover well from it. I’ve beat worse odds than this…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack


    On weekends, she wandered across late-80’s on-trend gray-carpeted floors, regarding the mauve sectional they bought after hours of agonizing over seating choices. She walked right through the living room to the front door and peered listlessly out into the blinding-bright Phoenix sun. Then back again, this time through the kitchen with its white tile and whitewashed-mauve cabinets, over to the family room that the house’s one visitor said needed personal touches (tchotchkes, she thought — yuck) and then it would feel like a home. She wandered because there was nothing else. No long streams of adding-machine tape to pore over, looking for the one mis-entry that kept everything from adding…

  • My Brain On Crack


    The second Claire woke up, she knew something was different. It wasn’t the constant steady beeping of the machines next to her bed, tubes snaking to her nose and wrist. It wasn’t the smell of disinfectant and coffee from the hallway outside the door (coffee? was there really coffee here?). And it wasn’t the starched feel of the sheets that lay loosely over her legs, not that she could feel them. No, Claire expected all of those. What she didn’t expect was the light. How Claire knew to look at the light that streamed through open institution-green curtains at the broad windows spanning one wall of the little white room,…