Tunnel of Vision

The other day, my trainer, Brandon, asked me why I haven’t written anything lately and I asked him if he had been talking to our mutual friend, Scott, because Scott and I have had a similar conversation seventy hundred times and Brandon told me to stop being paranoid, to which I yelled JUST BECAUSE I’M PARANOID DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE NOT AFTER ME except I was doing a chest press at the time with 500 pound free weights that were ridiculously mislabeled as 15 pounds each, and I was sort of whimpering with effort, so it came out more like &$#*&%STOPTALKING TO ME;IFUCKINGHATEEVERYTHING%$#@! and I’m not at all certain that I got my point across.

I tried to explain to Brandon that for the past year, I have had trouble focusing and I likened my brain to a giant bulletin board plastered corner to corner with fluorescent, multi-colored sticky notes and on each sticky note is a tiny fragment of a tiny sentence that could be the beginning, middle or end of a blog post, social media update, grocery list or my obituary. Words that I mentally jotted down during a spontaneous but fleeting moment of inspiration and then slapped onto a virtual corkboard with every intention of blooming them into a real, live blog post, social media update, grocery list or obituary at some later date but we all know where good intentions lead, right? That later date never comes and I’m left with a vast array of little neon squares of failure that dance a conga line in glorious technicolor all over the inside of my brain, and I bet you dollars to donuts all that mental swirling and twirling and whirling caused my recent bout of vertigo that was so severe, it made me vomit and diarrhea all over the place for one entire day and yes, I did just use diarrhea as a verb, and while we’re at it, I hope we’re betting with donuts instead of dollars because, hello? DONUTS.

I’ve always been able to concentrate, typically with laser-like focus. In the past, I was often accused of suffering an acute case of tunnel vision whenever I’d work on anything. I’d become so absorbed that I’d frequently have to be reminded to breathe, blink and feed my kids. Up until about a year ago, that focus was as much a part of me as my brown eyes, pointy elbows, nervous twitches and ability to sing any song in some horrendous key no one invented yet. That focus earned me straight 4.0s in college. It got me through two divorces without stabbing anyone, including myself. Truth be told, my ability to focus during whatever tsunami of shit befell me was the only reason I survived standing in my kitchen one sweltering hot day in August of 2000, smooshing a pillow against my pelvis because I was three days out from a c-section from Helena, and spending three straight hours picking every single lice nit out of Zoe’s thickety thick hair. That was almost 21 years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Even though I can’t actually remember yesterday. I still have PTSD from that day, and I firmly believe that that incident is incontrovertible proof that when God gets bored, he’ll sneeze a big, wet FUCK YOU all over your life, just to test your character and keep you on your toes. Today, thanks to my second divorce and the seven years of dating that followed, my toes are so strong, they should be registered as lethal weapons.

Something happened about a year ago that caused my focus to run for the hills and I’d chase after it if I didn’t hate chasing altogether because chasing is SWEATY. I have no idea what happened to me … maybe it’s a stress thing, maybe it’s a menopause thing, maybe it’s an early-onset dementia thing, I don’t know, but it’s annoying as all get out that I have become somewhat scatterbrained. I find myself hopping online to buy one specific shade of lipstick and 48 minutes later, I have umpity-eight browser tabs open with 15 different carts overflowing with a sundry of useless items like kitty litter that I don’t need because I don’t have a cat but that might come in handy if my tires ever get stuck in quicksand, lightbulbs that don’t fit anything in my house but are environmentally friendly, and a mini flashlight that can join the 18 other unused mini flashlights hanging out in my junk drawer. SURPRISE, nary a lipstick in sight.

I’m hoping that some gingko biloba will one day find its way into one of my shopping carts because it’s supposed to be good for strengthening memory and concentration but I can’t intentionally set out to buy it lest I wind up with a case of Wickles Pickles even though I don’t really like pickles but I saw Helena had a jar of them on the counter the other day and found myself quietly muttering WICKLES PICKLES to no one in particular for a few scary minutes and not buying them after all that just seems wrong.

I have completely forgotten the entire reason for this post, but I’m going to publish this anyway and all you imaginary sticky notes lining up in my brain can just suck it. Distraction has made me crabby.

HOLY EXCREMENT, I FINISHED WRITING SOMETHING. Well, sort of. I’ll work on that whole “how about writing something coherent and relevant” thing another day.

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