Numb Noodle

My think-noodle grew numb about five years ago. That was about the time I started waking up with the rest of the world instead of the rest of the drunks.

When I was a nightowl daysleeper, the noodle worked constantly. During the afternoon, I was productive. Late at night, I was creative, During sleepytime, I was psychotic.

The dreams should’ve scared me straight long ago. They were full of madmen with my face and sane people who died mercilessly. They would carry over from night to night like a sociopathic miniseries. I considered for a while that I might have a mental illness.

Then I started working for a living. You know it…that workaday grind that depletes all creativity and inner drive and leaves you wanting nothing more than to climb into bed and die for six hours. Creativity–stifled. Psychoses–eradicated.

I lived five years of relative sanity. I conversed with the rest of the world and understood that I probably was on the verge of mental breakdown during my early years. While everybody was living in a world of numb, jaded complanceny, I was experiencing nightly horror shows in my dreams and living grandiose dreams while I was awake. Then, for five years, I was just as numb as everyone else seemed to be.

But it is back.

I’m still waking up with the rest of the world, but I’m not sleeping that much. As caution points me toward bed, the think noodle unscrunches itself and kicks in a schizophrenic and grandiose afterburner. It makes me believe I can accomplish more than I am now. Hours tick by and by the time most of the world has been asleep for three hours, I’m cooking up schemes that promise to end in new accomplishment and untold reward.

Then I fall asleep and go half-mad. I have dreams of federal agents, shot and bloodied in domestic combat. I see planes crashing into trains and body parts strewn along a highway shoulder. The women are unavoidable temptresses and the men are my enemy. It is hell and heaven on an unachievable plane and I have no choice but to live it for a few hours while I sleep. When I wake up, it fades like a passing thought and by the time I am out of the shower it is almost completely forgotten. I am sane for another fourteen hours or so.

I don’t know why it came back. Part of it, I think, has to do with the fact that I’m writing again. I had stopped for a while. Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with the uncertainty of my professional life. Part of it, perhaps, has to do with my dog removing half of the feathers from a formerly-full pillow. I think she is a bird dog in her dreams.

Fear not. I am not on the verge of breakdown. I am not a madman in a “going to freak out and murder my friends” kind of way.

I’m just thinking a lot more than I have in a long time and sometimes that can be scary. I’m still trying to figure out if think-noodle atrophy can be reversed.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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