maybe i won’t kick it

at least not for a few days

I love Eric.

I’m just saying that now. Getting it out of the way. I want him to read that, know that. I want him to know that I support him in all of his endeavors, and I wish him nothing but happiness and success in whatever he does and I hope he knows that I will always be there to love him and hold him and do anything he needs. He will always be my hero.

I need him to know this and remember this when I gain about seven pounds this week. I will gain at least that, because I refuse to do Tae Bo in the mornings if his father is going to watch me.

Now, I know his father is just curious what this whole Tae Bo thing is, but man have you ever tried to do roundhouse kicks with someone’s dad watching you? Well, just in case you haven’t, just know it’s darn close to humiliating. I’m all panting and sweating and grunting and he’s like:

[scripty]
ERIC’S DAD
That guy there, he’s the one that created this exercise tape?

PAMIE
(doing fifth set of kicks)
Ugh. Yuh.

ERIC’S DAD
Yeah, I see him in the paper in Pittsburgh.

BILLY BLANKS
Okay, now we do the back kicks, kick back, watch me.

ERIC’S DAD
That blonde in the purple sure knows her stuff. Look at her kick.

INSIDE PAMIE’S HEAD
I cannot believe I’m still working out.

ERIC’S DAD
How much longer is this tape?

INSIDE PAMIE’S HEAD
Long enough for you to go take a shower or something….

BILLY BLANKS
And DOUBLE TIME!

PAMIE
Uh… about ten more… yugh… minutes.

ERIC’S DAD
Oh. You’re doing a great job, there. Good for you.

INSIDE PAMIE’S HEAD
I look like a fucking moron.

PAMIE
Ugh. Yeah. Thanks.

ERIC’S DAD
How often you do this?

PAMIE
Ugh.. lately… every….fuhhh… morning

INSIDE PAMIE’S HEAD
Until now.

ERIC’S DAD
Wow. That’s great.
[/scripty]

It’s only a week, right?

Last night we watched Pi, which I loved. I was completely into the plot (until the last ten minutes or so) and it sounded and looked like what would have happened if David Lynch did a remake of Eraserhead with Trent Reznor. It made me flashback to my days of calculus where I would stare at “f of x” until my head started pounding.

That makes two very different geek movies in two nights. They did, however, have some similar themes. The geek never realizes just what he is getting into, and then it’s just too late. Oh, yeah, and I said “he.” The lack of females in Office Space is more than a bit obvious. There’s no reason to give Jennifer Aniston second billing except that she has a name. The only females in Office Space were secretaries. In Pi, however, there are a few females, including the “bad guy.” But I would have liked Pi a lot more without bad guys.

I remember the day that I was in calculus in high school where I was working an equation and I thought to myself, “I could figure this out, but it is going to hurt my brain more than I want it to. I do not want to learn any more calculus. I am full.” It was a third year college course that we were taking our senior year of high school, and I was already pretty sure that I didn’t want to learn any more math.

Why? Well, the people that I knew that were really good at math, I mean really good at math– were all just a bit scary. And lonely. I was pretty sure that math made you crazy. And it does. I mean, here’s something that someone spent years trying to figure out, and you’re supposed to understand it overnight because it’s all laid out for you. Every time something went to infinity, my head would race. Because I can’t shut my brain off math.

I have never been able to shut my brain off math. That’s not exactly true. Now I have learned how to shut my brain off better, but when I was growing up… and occasionally to this day, sometimes my brain snaps into math mode and it is damn near maddening.

Say I’m sitting above a tiled floor. My brain will start sectioning the tiles into groups, and then it will start counting the groups, or it will try and find patterns in randomly tiled floors– like cobblestone. My brain will start to organize the stones or tiles until I see the patterns in the floor. If there’s a ceiling with holes– I start counting the holes. Or counting the patterns. If there is a chime, or a beating noise– my brain counts the number of times I hear it. And I cannot shut it off. One, two, three, four, five, six– even if that beep or boom comes every five seconds or so, my brain will keep counting it.

It started happening last night during the film. There’s a moment where he is debating about hitting “return” on his keyboard, and while that is happening the music is sort of this constant beat. My brain kept counting the beats until he hit return. I had to know how many beats until he hit return. I almost lost my mind during Boogie Nights in the scene with Roller Girl in the limo. The entire ten minute scene just has this constant chiming. In the theatre when I went to see it, I ended up counting the chimes until I fell asleep. I hypnotized myself with my counting.

This was particularly irritating when I was in school taking tests. If the clock was too loud I couldn’t concentrate on my paper because I kept counting the ticks of the clock. I would count the number of times my classmate next to me tapped her desk with her pencil. I would count the number of times the letter “a” was on my piece of paper. I would become obsessed with patterns, and why they would all be there.

In watching the movie last night, it reminded me why I made myself stop. I didn’t want to pursue a scientific or mathematics career because I would drive myself crazy. I would try to make myself stop counting, but my brain could count while I did other things. I could read and still count the ticks. I could talk to someone and still count the number of times their shoe hit my chair.

I had to train myself to tune things out. I had to train myself not to listen to the ticks or beeps. I had to zone into whatever I was supposed to be concentrating on so that I wouldn’t be distracted with my counting. Eventually I was able to stop myself from counting things.

Now, it has helped my concentration skills. I can do several things at once. I can type what I’m thinking and listen to someone talk at the same time. I can be onstage and think about the next scene and still be in the current one. I can be at my desk working and never hear one word of the conversation going on behind me. People think that I make that up, like I really just eavesdrop and I don’t want to tell them that I’m listening to them. But the truth is, unless I’m trying to listen to them, I don’t hear them. I just tune them out and concentrate on what I’m doing. Now, if I wanted to, I could make it look like I was working and really all I was doing was concentrating on what they were saying, but I don’t usually do that. Not usually, anyway. But sometimes you pick up good dialogue…

So, what I’m saying here is I gave up a life of math and science to save my sanity. I was pretty sure that I would go insane if I spent my life working with numbers that would reach infinity, or spirals or pi. My brain likes to count.

Am I sounding like a big freak? Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone this before. It’s something weird that my head does when I’m not completely giving my attention somewhere. Kind of like when a song gets stuck in your head. Patterns get stuck in my head, and then I start counting them. That’s not so strange, is it?

Remember, Eric. I love you. Remember? Hero. Love. Happiness. Not a freak. Just go back to what you were doing.

Leave a Reply