when i was little
i tried to sew
my thinking cap
to my scalp
for i feared that
if i ever took it off
(more) i would lose my head
i guess i didn't realize
my thoughts would grow
far bigger than my skull
and maybe one day i'd want
my hair to flow
far past my eardrums
The stars? They sit in that dark abyss that is the night sky, blurred pinpoints of light. How far away are they, really? How much would it take to reach one?
(more) The road? Cars pass this very spot, zooming along their way with a flash of color and the rawr of the engine. Are they going home, or leaving? They rush here and there as if life isn't made of time. Does it matter where they are going?
What are you feeling?
Are you happy, watching the cars float by and staring up at the sky? Does it make you feel connected, or alone? The realization that the world is so big, and that we inhabit such a small chunk of eternity can be overwhelming. Are you sad? Angry? Why?
Staring at the sky as the world rotates makes me feel as though the universe is in my grasp. All of the emotions I am capable of are at my finger tips. All of the memories, and possibilities for the future are there for the taking. All I have to do is extend my mind and reach for them with a single thought. Is that what you are doing, too?
There are so many things in this world. Physical stuff, emotions, actions. Surely there must be something on your mind. To be otherwise would be such a waste. Never let your mind be still. Keep your thinking cap on at all times. You never know when it may be necessary.(less)
Take these pills, my dear, my dear
Quickly, quickly, drink them down
they'll help you think
they'll help you dream
they'll help you sleep tonight.
(more) Take these pills my dear, my sweet
Don't pause now, just take them down
They'll help you learn
They'll help you see
They'll help you be yourself.
But I see how they change me. At times for the better, at times for the worse. I can't really tell what the difference is anymore.
Sometimes I'll focus more. Sometimes I'll completely lose my interest in anything at all.
I wonder if this is really me. I think so differently.
What if I had never taken it? What if I had never started on the medication? What if I had just gone on like everyone else and learned?
There's nothing wrong with me, as in I'm not mad, I'm not bad at heart. I'm just a little disorganized, unfocused, and impulsive.
Yet these pills.... I feel like people treat them like the cure to some disease. The truth is that I take drugs that other people use to get high, and I get a pass because of a condition.
Organization in a pill. Self control in a pill. Focus in a pill. Success in a pill?
He took it upon himself to volunteer for a chance to get closer to the landowner's daughter. The problem with that was, Joe had never done an honest day's work in his life, and that's what was called for.
"You get that barn up before the others," Mr.(more) Gray, the landowner said, "I'll give you that promotion you wanted."
"Yessir." Joe answered, not up to the task, but going for it anyway.
It surprised him how easy actual work was, instead of dodging crew leaders by offering some "worthwhile" alternative to breaking soil or hauling potatoes. The gravel was the only hard part, though he was doing it easier than the others. He liked being in charge, but no one else did.
"Ta hell with ya," the men said one by one until they left him all by his onesome. He had apparently demanded too much. It was then that Joe did something very uncharacteristic of himself--he finished what he started.
Joe didn't get an "atta boy," or even a "thanks," but he did get the piece of paper transferring him to the office where Gray's daughter worked. If he did anything in his new positon half as effective as building the barn, surely Ms. Gray wouldn't mind seeing him around.
"There is no happy solution to this problem," Ellie sighed to herself.
Roger lay next to her in bed, snoring off the beer and pot. He still had his glasses on.
(more) She thought about their kids, Beth and Wynn. She loved them both so much. It tore her up that she didn't know what was the right thing to do for them, let alone herself.
She often thought about being a single parent, but the thought of having to care for them on her own gave her pause. At six and four they were incredibly demanding, and she knew from hard experience that sometimes she just needed a break from them. If Roger wasn't around, breaks would be few and far between.
What tore her up the most was that she didn't know how to help Roger and he really was a good father; except for the drinking and smoking.
He'd willingly taken up the job of staying home to raise the kids while she worked. But it was like he didn't understand that being a parent came with adult responsibilities.
Like not being hung over in the morning so he could take care of the kids without being cranky. Or that a stoned parent is just completely disconnected on some levels.
It made her cry sometimes when the girls would ask, "Where's daddy?" and she'd have to make up some excuse to cover for his 'smoke breaks'.
He'd taken the kids this past weekend to visit his brother so she could have some time to herself, and when they'd come home, it was clear he was a little buzzed. The travel mug smelling of beer spoke volumes.
"Should I throw him out or let him stay while he sobers up?" She had no clear answers.(less)
I guess it started out as a joke, calling it the "thinking cap." But it stuck, because, what the hell else were you going to call it?
Twenty-three electrodes, wired into a thin helmet. Almost stylish. The electrodes registered your brains electrical activity, and pulsed with its ow(more)n to modify your brain waves. It could teach you things by pulsing your brain in just the right way. It had wireless connection to download any sort of pattern you'd need. And it could activate a 'flow state,' so you'd constantly get better at what you'd just learned.
Anyway. "Thinking cap," although apt, is a bit of an understatement.
So, we all got amazing at anything we wanted. Science. Sports. Art. Even sex. ESPECIALLY sex.
And then, optimistically, we expected human society to flourish like never before. For new boundaries to be reached and then surpassed. The first, and final, utopia.
Instead, the job market crashed, colleges went bankrupt, everyone's egos ballooned, and we all got good at hating each other.
No, wait, that's wrong. We were already GREAT at hating each other. The thinking cap just gave us a way to DO something about it. So, naturally, the scientific achievements became a weapon. Black market martial arts skills. Marksmanship. Chemical warfare.
Do you know how EASY it is to build a thermite bomb? And once you get into chemical weapons, atomic ones aren't far behind.
We saw war on a scale we'd never seen it before. Widespread. Yet strangely personal.
Anyway. An army of people are busting down the doors, so I guess I should probably focus. In everyone's best interests, I built a virus to wipe out the other caps. Now everyone wants to kill me.
But I'll think of something. I just need to put on my thinking cap.(less)
It's been six weeks. He unscrews the cap and sets it down on the sink in front of him. His stomach churns in nervous anticipation. His fingers twitch with excitement.
Seattle is no longer ten years old. He understands the(more) consequences. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen. Tiny white pills fall out of the bottle and into his outstretched hand. He shuts his eyes for a moment, and then opens them.
He's shaking and he won't admit it to himself.
It's been six weeks. He glances towards the doorway. His chest squeezes and hurts, because he's looking for a shadow under the slightly opened door that won't come. Seattle didn't write a note. He didn't think about writing a note.
It's been six weeks. He leans foward and inspects himself in the mirror. Scratches crisscross up and down his face.
Six weeks, but there are still marks. The car is probably crumpled like a soda can in a landfill. His spine still screams in agony and the backbrace is unbearable. The pain meds aren't good for anything except--
Except for this.
Seattle sucks in a deep breath and pops all (thirteen, fourteen) into his mouth at once. A bitterness spreads across his tongue. His throat works, but it won't swallow. It's as if it's rejecting them. As if it's got a will of it's own.
Seattle hunches over the sink and heaves. The pills clatter in the sink and clang like shards of glass from a broken window. (less)
I put on my thinking cap and decide
Is it you or me or my life?
Can I say the right words to you,
Will they feel like they were meant to reach you in your arms,
Do I let you lean yourself on my shoulders?
(more) Is it cold outside?
Can I let you into the warmth of my life?
The still spaces still say no,
Because of all the places to go.(less)
The baseball cap lingered on the desk, its embroidered logo gleaming faintly in the dusty light. The room had not been opened for a few months and papers lay strewn about the floor, some held fast by dried-up highlighter pens and chewed-up pencils. The woman moved towards the empty(more) leather chair behind the desk and sunk into it, blinking rapidly. The certificates she had framed - "plain wood, mind you, none of that fancy gold glitzy stuff" - leaned against the lower drawer. She looked around. The office seemed much larger without him in it, bustling around and scribbling on the whiteboard. It was once a blackboard hanging on the opposite wall, but he got tired of sneezing every five minutes from the dust. He had always been allergic to the strangest things: cumin (the trip to India was a disaster), ballpoint pens, chemotherapy. The oncologist was half exasperated, half awed by the questions he asked about his treatment, fired with the precision of an assault rifle and accompanied by a slight grin. She had sat silently by his bed, rotating her thumbs around each other until the doctor left the room and he reached over and grasped her hand in his.
His research had made it difficult for them to go to the games as often as they wanted. The trip to the city was hard too, what with her hip. But he insisted. Their son picked them up at Penn Station and drove them to the stadium. Up in the nosebleed seats, they ate hot dogs and she pretended not to see his furtive sips of lukewarm beer.
She looked down once more at the stack of frames, then leaned forward, held the hat above her head, and gently pushed it down over her greying hair.(less)
I do my best thinking at night. Weary thoughts and bleary eyes seem to lend themselves perfectly to brilliance, and there is something about the late night that beckons to me. There is an allure in watching the first rays of sunlight creep across my page as my lead(more) still scrapes its surface. I revel in the gripping loneliness that darkness brings. There is a rush that comes with the first sips of coffee in preparation of yet another night of work, as well as the numbness that comes after the last trickles of caffeine begin to wear off. Exhaustion alters my character, rending me emotional, withdrawn, and frightfully honest. It is in this solitude, with this altered state of mind, that I am best able to methodically sift through the shattered fragments that make up my life.(less)
The teacher had urged them to put their thinking caps on. He'd advised that the children may have to think outside the box as they attempted to complete their homework.
After much deliberation, Aoife had decided that she would need to ask her mummy later what the teache(more)r meant by that. She already owned a wooly hat with a lovely pattern, and a unicorn sewn to it, and a comfy fastening that closed under her chin. Her daddy had given it to her as a present for Christmas and she loved him very much for it - especially as it had come hidden in the backpack of her favourite doll which she also got for Christmas.
Aoife was sure either her mummy or her daddy would be able to help her. They always knew everything. One of them would be able to show her the box she was supposed to think outside of. In her mind her head morphed into a square shape, her beautiful curly locks hanging down the sides, her cheeks split in half over the corners. That thought entertained her no end.
She pressed her hand over her mouth, trying to suppress a giggle. She peered over to the teacher to see if he'd noticed anything, this was quiet time after all and the children were supposed to rest. But the teacher didn't look up.
Aoife smiled to herself and finally drifted of into her afternoon nap. (less)