Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Writer's Brain

"You remember," a workmate said to me the other day. "You were there. You stopped to say hello." 

Um... 

The incident I was being urged to recall obviously made no impression, and, honestly, unless it looked like this... 


...it was never going to. 

Sorry. Writer brain. The moment I leave work, I'm already planning what to go home and write. In fact, unless I have to be paying attention -- like flying a plane or delivering a baby or disarming a bomb -- chances are that even though I'm smiling and nodding I'm actually a million miles away. 

When I was a kid, my mum had my hearing tested. Twice. Except I wasn't deaf, I was just ignoring her. 

Because I spend an awful lot of time in my imagination. It might be weird and pathological to some people, but to me it's second nature. Never a dull moment in there, I promise. And if you're a writer as well, I'll bet you're the same. 

It's led to some problems. 

"I told you this," my sister tells me a lot. "Last week. You agreed." 

Sometimes I get that niggling feeling that I should pay more attention. Like when I find out that I'm going to my cousin's wedding in Brisbane really, really soon, and I have to sneak around and try to find the invitation again because I'm too embarrassed to ask the family what the date is. 

Although, they enable me. Dirty enablers. Wedding in Brisbane? Family holiday in Melbourne? They tell me these things, and I give them money, and sooner or later someone will ask me if I've packed yet. That's when I know it's getting close. 

"What day is it?" I often ask myself as I'm crawling out of bed. Although a lot of that is probably a side effect of shift work. 

I'm a day-dreamer. I don't know any other way to be, but at least I'm a considerate enough day-dreamer that I've learned how to wing entire conversations, right? 

So if I ever say hello to you in the street, don't be offended if I don't remember it a few days later. It's not that I don't like you, it's just that I jettisoned that whole conversation to make space for this kick-ass fight scene I'm choreographing in my head. 

6 comments:

  1. At one of my old jobs during my annual review it was noted I had a tendency of getting lost in my head.

    No kidding :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a brilliant, yet strangely offensive, thing to get on a review. Like when I quit my job at the bank and the manager said, "Well, you were never suited to it, were you?"

      And a part of me was like: "F**k you!" And the rest of me was like: "I feel vindicated!"

      Delete
    2. I bet you've run over in your head all the things you'd like to have said to that manager.

      “You mean being stuffy, dull, and loathsome? No, that’s your expertise.”

      Delete
  2. Last month you agreed to send me a collection of your books. Have you packed them yet?

    But really, I totally hear you on this. But only because you wrote it out. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! I'd almost believe you there!

      Delete
  3. I'm always in my head, too. I have to force myself to pay attention so I don't totally blank on things. Don't worry. I won't be offended if we meet on the street and you don't remember it. Although since I live on the other side of the planet I hope it would be slightly memorable...

    ReplyDelete

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