I'm driving down the road with a feedbag of trail mix wedged between my thighs.
Peanuts and choco buttons rain down through my fingers as I grab the recommended serving size with each dip into the package.
I am less than human as I retrieve each morsel that hits the seat and slides beneath my legs.
No hand is on the wheel, no thought is on the road, all my faculties, all I am, is intent on eating.
"I have a frog in my throat," Jeffrey announces from the passenger seat.
I had almost forgotten he was there.
"Yeah?," (munch)(munch), "what's it saying?" I manage to ask.
He imitates a parrot.
"Rawp, froggy want a cracker. Rawp, froggy want a cracker."
"Yep," he says.
When we get out of the car, he says goodbye to the calculator I make him leave on the seat.
He opens the door and says goodbye three more times.
One part of his brain forgets to send the "we already said goodbye to the calculator" signal to another part of his brain which releases the "that felt good to say bye to my calculator" chemical to the part of his brain telling him he still needs to say goodbye to his calculator or he won't feel good.
I am the stand-in for the parts of his brain that aren't speaking to each other.
"You already said goodbye. Quit opening and shutting my door."
"Oh. Right." he says, stepping away from the car but still peering longingly into the window.
"Jeffrey, come on. Time for work."
He pries himself away.
There are times in my life I really could have used me as a stand-in for my fractured brain, too.
I would love to pay me to follow me around and tell me when I am engaged in crazy or harmful behavior, when I am about to spend money frivolously, or have fallen behind in my bills.
I think I would like to have me wipe me.
Because it can be a real pain to do it myself sometimes, just so very time-consuming.
Though if it were really me taking care of me, I have to be honest and say I have grown a bit lazy over the years, and am not the strapping, able special ed worker I used to be.
To give myself the best possible care, I would need someone to supervise the me taking care of me.
And since most teachers are idiots, I would only permit someone as smart as myself to be my teacher.
So I the teacher, I the paraprofessional, and I the student.
It would get really crowded, because all three of me eat too much trail mix.
Though, like Jeffrey, I used to have this problem called Intrusive Thinking.
My brain told me irrational, often disturbing things, right out of the blue.
Or it told me the traffic light was green after I had already driven through it, and it kept telling me the light was green long after I had gotten to my destination and parked the car.
I discovered that alcohol seemed to stop the problem, but then I had another problem called Alcohol.
Though there was nothing monumental about my descent into, and subsequent rise from, the pit of a drinking problem.
In fact, my hitting bottom would be almost laughable to many alcoholics, but it was perfectly me.
I came to myself in the dark woods of a local dive bar, surrounded by people I had not seen since high school, and I was pretending to be happy to see them, the alcohol effectively blotting out my normally crippling awkwardness and utter distaste for running into old acquaintances.
It was like getting drunk and rolling around in your high school yearbook, your beer sweat moistening up the signatures and little notes enough to leave them rubbed off on your body.
The "U so crazy in chemistry class what what"s and the "Have a good summer, fat ass"s and the "So glad I got to know you this year"s smeared all over you; the authors, people you barely remember.
You feel so falsely extroverted and dirty.
That's how I know alcohol is evil, at least for me: it makes running into people from high school seem tolerable, almost pleasurable.
There is something deeply wrong with that, something incompatible with who I am as a human person.