An Ode to the Brain I Possess

Dear Brain:

We have been together for eighteen years, one month, and 24 days. Ups, downs, lefts, rights, we’ve seen most of it all. More than enough, I think, to co-write an autobiography of All of The Shit We Have Ever Seen. Paramount would buy the copyrights and I think we’d be famous enough to have a star-studded documentary filmed in less than five years.

Fame really isn’t the point, though, and you know it. I’m not here to talk about Hollywood and how great these memories have been to me. Honestly, I wish you could forget- well, really, that we both could forget- some things that have left the most scars.

I think we struggle with whether or not to hide. Hide thoughts, feelings, ideas, anything that could really get us in trouble. I know you hide the worst of it all in the very back of my skull, pounding endlessly away at the bone behind my left ear. I can hear it. I can’t always see it, but I can hear it. Feel it. Relive it until you decide to hide it even farther back in the recesses of my spine.

Brain, I have to tell you, I’m not quite sure whey we’re writing this. For posterity? No. To make sense? Of course not. That rarely happens, you know, when we connect Brain to paper. To make sense is an awfully difficult task, especially for one with an imagination larger than galaxies and a tendency to ramble until words become incoherent slurs.

Brain, I suppose I’m writing this to let you know that it’s okay to remember things. It’s okay to feel things fully, to let happiness wash over in tidal waves of gold, to let sadness wrack my bones until I am sure they are broken beneath the weight of it all. It’s okay to let the anxieties make brainwaves static and paranoid, and to let fear turn the skeleton beneath to ice.

It’s okay, Brain, because we aren’t alone.

I must admit, I haven’t been the best to either of us. I have tried to bleed out sadness, to medicate anxiety, to pray away the thoughts neither of us want to harbor. I have tried to choke us out in clouds from nicotine highs, tried to drown us in cheap alcohol and cheaper friends.

I’m not sure if I want that life anymore, so I think this is an apology. An Ode to the Brain I Need to Apologize To. After seventeen years of attempts to rid us of traits we must admit are permanent, I am here to apologize. I’m sorry.

For growing up too soon.

For emotions I swallowed, words I choked on so they wouldn’t come out.

For boys I loved and friends I let us forget about.

For family bridges we soaked in gasoline and burned with wicked grins.

For sharp edges and pretty medicine and cigarettes dangling from cracked lips.

I’m sorry for taking this long to figure out what’s important to me.

Brain, we could write the stories of hurt. Of the battles we have to keep fighting, daily, together. But I’d like to think we are getting better, daily, together. I’d like to think we’re figuring out this whole living thing, although I must admit, on the grey days it is less than unappealing.

Brain, we could go on for a very long time like this. I could keep rambling until this page itself is just repeated phrases and shitty poetry. However, we are both getting tired and I have said enough for now. Brain, thank you for sticking around. Thank you for remembering.


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