Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This Open Letter to my Brain

Dear Brain,

I know you're busy managing all my vital bodily functions and keeping me alive. You have a pretty full schedule, and I understand this. However, you have another duty as well, and lately you've been dropping the ball. I'm trying to remember something important, and when I ask you about it, I get nothing.

Look, I don't need to recall a long list of obscure Simpsons quotes from the 90's. I don't need to know the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. I don't need to know the order of the planets, the colors of the rainbow, or the recipe for banana bread. Don't get me wrong, that's good information to have when I need it, but I don't need it right now.

You have a real focus problem, brain. I know I'm partially to blame, as I've been stuffing you with gobs of miscellaneous information for three decades at least. It's a lot of information to manage, I get that. However, are you telling me that in thirty plus years you haven't figured out a better way to store all that information? Some of which I don't want you hanging onto in the first place.

Yes, lets talk about how much you love to hang onto those details and memories that I'd rather not keep around. You can be pretty vindictive when you want to be, because the more I'd rather you didn't retain something, the more tightly you hang onto it. While you can't tell me whether I paid the electric bill this month, you are quick to remind me of every embarrassing incident that happened during junior high.

You're even meaner about spoilers. If somehow, through my  own carelessness or the actions of another, I get spoiled on a movie, television show, or book, you refuse to let me forget this enjoyment-reducing information. No, now I don't get to enjoy the reveal because I already know it's going to happen. I don't get to wait in breathless anticipation to find out if a character lives or dies. I know already because you insist on ruining my fun.

This is why I don't watch previews of movies I want to see. You will grab onto every little detail, frame by frame, and not let me forget any of it. Since a lot of the previews give away most of the movie anyway, you are ensuring that I can't properly enjoy this movie. This is why I change the channel when certain previews air. This is why I close my eyes in the theater when that preview comes on. I am denying you information that you will use against me.

Look, there's no need for us to be adversarial. You need me just as much as I need you, so let's be partners on this. I'll do my best to live a healthy, long life, and you remind me of important dates and let me know where I left my phone. Remember, helping me also helps you, so try not to make my life so miserable.

Memorably yours,

Charles B. French

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