How My Mind Works

I’m a very good, verging on genius, lower-midlevel successful writer. I mean, just look at my catalog. How do I come up with this shit!? People have asked me this countless times, generally while adoring me in my study as I gaze upon the heads of rare game i’ve killed and swirl my scotch in a glass made from the bones of a virgin. Usually, all I can do is shrug, as if to say, ‘Nay, not even I know how I come up with this shit.’ But recently, I began to feel as though this eternal question required, nay, shouted for, an answer. So after much contemplation, I have uncovered one of the ways in which my mind works. Here is a glimpse.

There are two primary modes in which my mind operates: alone or with others. In the interest of time and your shitty attention span, we will only take a look at the ‘with others’ category. In the presence of others, my mind begins a series of scanning devices. There is a cursor on the bottom left of my internal screen, and a series of lasers that ‘paint’ the person with whom I’m dealing and give me read-outs. Lamentably, the most common read-out is, ‘butthole…not on same team.’ other readouts include, ‘probably has a Pinterest page’ or ‘enjoys brunch’ or ‘loves everything’ or ‘a perfectly good counterfeit of some fictional character.’

Generally, these readouts are harmless and lead to an icon of the person inside my mind being lifted by a robotic hand and dropped into a garbage icon where a sound like ‘guuuullllp’ happens and I am through with the exchange, my mind resorting to a screensaver type mode, represented internally by a picture of my cat drooling, and represented outwardly by a tight smile and raised eyebrows and a general hollow enthusiasm for whatever the person is saying.

However, sometimes, the cursor turns red after a reading and reports a ‘warning.’ This usually happens after a ‘needs attention’ reading, or a ‘passive aggression expert’ reading. If the threat persists, many small creatures carrying giant stone shields congregate around the inside of my mind and lock arms to protect against the incoming bullshit. The team is usually successful and the incoming bullshit is blocked, and drips down my face as I say, ‘I don’t know’ to whomever I am talking.

At times the intruders offer content with which my scanning device is not immediately familiar. At this point, the information is welcomed in and ‘frozen’ with a forcefield ray that then slowly beams the content into a holding cell that for some reason smells like my apartment after I burn a bagel. The information is refused any attention from the outside world. If the information survives the first few moments of no response or care, an agent is sent in for interrogation.

The agent is a rat with burnt patches of hair, holding a stick (and wearing cool sunglasses and combat boots and a wifebeater and toothpick in his mouth). The rat walks up to the information carefully, swishing the toothpick around in his mouth. The rat then carefully pokes the information with a stick to see what happens. If nothing happens, the rat says, ‘nothin doin, boss’ and then I’m cleared to allow the information to pass. However, if the information reacts to being poked with a stick, it is sent on for further inspection. The information is placed on a conveyor belt that travels over a bubbling swamp of King Cobra and orange Fanta, where random insults are hurled at it, like, ‘long way from home, buddy’ or ‘hehe, where dya think YOU’RE going, chump.’

The first stop is a stone icon, kind of aztec/inca looking thing. The information is paused on the conveyor belt before the icon. After a lengthy pause, the icon’s eyes burn red and it bellows, ‘who the fuck gives a shit!’ if the information disappears, so be it, everything returns to a state of normalcy where it’s basically just a bunch of rats partying to ‘hip hop’ music with ‘hot ass’ girl rats dancing. If the information shows any type of resilience in the face of the ‘who the fuck gives a shit’ deity, it is passed along on the conveyor belt (which, didn’t state this before, but the conveyor belt makes burping and farting noises the whole time).
The next stop is another rat with a stick, just because that’s pretty much who runs things on the inside. But this is more of a ‘just wanted to poke you with a stick’ scenario.

The next stop is a brief physical, where the information is placed on a treadmill with electrodes hooked up to it, for three rat scientists behind a two-way mirror to analyze. The contents of the information are usually broken down and revealed on a computer screen. Common readouts include, ‘just said that for reaction’ or ‘trying to seem cool through knowing certain bands’ or ‘mostly NPR/internet styled tidbits of “knowledge”’ or ‘indirect self-compliment via insecurity’ or ‘line from movie s/he likes’ etc. you get the idea.

After the readout is complete, the information is stamped with either, ‘ok’ or ‘this sucks’ both of which are communicated to my head-speakers via messenger rat on skateboard/helicopter. The messenger rat drops the message off with the speaker rat, who is very old and wears a polyester suit-coat and a toupee. He reads the message and then puts his lips up to a giant tin can, connected via string to another tin-can by my mouth. He then either reads, ‘ok’ or ‘uh huh’ or, occasionally, ‘what the fuck are you talking about’ and the process is complete, cursor at the ready for the next intruder.

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Sam Pink is the author of Rontel, The No Hellos Diet, Hurt Others, I Am Going to Clone Myself Then Kill the Clone and Eat It, Frowns Need Friends Too, and the cult hit Person. See his drawings here.