I live in the space between my ears. I think a lot of other people do too, but I wouldn’t really know.
It’s a small world after all. Tiny really. Bounded in a nutshell; king of infinite space; save for my bad dreams.
In my world, it is really loud. Sometimes, the cacophony of my world overwhelms. I find myself paralyzed by noise.
It started when I was little. I was a sleep-walker. I had the same terrible dream each time. I’d wake up with my father placing a cool washcloth on the back of my neck. The dream isn’t scary when you say it out loud, but when you feel it while you’re in it, it haunts. A line of men barreling towards you. All dressed the same: brown flat caps pulled below their eyebrows, black leather jackets, short and stout, wearing ice skates. Shook me every time.
Since then, the world sometimes just gets too loud and I feel a little crazy. I need to be alone for a moment or two.
It’s harder now being alone now, for me, because of my phone. I find myself, when feeling kind of crazy and needing a respite, plugging in and scrolling for a long, long time. The scrolling and tapping occupies some part of me, which is a small comfort. However, sometimes I stumble upon an unwelcome idea or thought in the middle of a moment where I need calm.
I’ll be sitting their minding other people’s business, taking a breath from the loudness of life, and I’ll see a post that infuriates. Someone says something about something that flusters me. And the loud world I was trying to pacify roars back into full volume.
Right then, I should turn my phone off or drop it in the toilet. But, I don’t. I think a lot about the something said. I research it in my mental archives, on Google. I tell my friends about it. I spread the something said. I make the ‘something said’ into ‘something discussed.’ The volume keeps creeping up.
Eventually, I find myself angrily typing, editing, re-typing, deleting, typing again, some comment to the something said. I want to turn off the sound by cranking the volume past maximum.
In grace, I find the strength to stop myself. Delete the comment. Unfollow the something-sayer. And then feel bad about all the trouble.
I am a sensitive person. I feel deeply and quickly. And while I believe I live between my ears, the spirits of my world emanate from elsewhere. My mind forever responding to the steady stream of feelings flooding it from somewhere below the neck.