Friday, December 24, 2010

the fine art of time travel, part 1

I do not know anything about science anymore, or much for that matter. way back in high school physics was the only class I ever failed. but by that late point in time I was very distracted and had basically given up on going to school anyway and could not wrap my brain around anything anymore. prior to that when I was very focused and enjoyed exercising my brain and participating in class education, I found I truly truly had a knack for chemistry. I could perform and solve elaborate chemical equations in my head; they just made perfect sense to me. I could look at a long string of chemical equations and certain numbers and characters would literally sort of jump off the page and my brain would just lock into answers. my teacher never fawned about it, but I knew he knew I really got it. he tested me once in front of the class. we walked in and the chalkboard was completely covered with equations. he asked me what it "said." it was a series of names and words formed by addition from the table of elements (i.e., "barium" "gold" "water") I knew every word before I even sat down (the rest of the class didn't even know who Barry M. Goldwater was). it was one of the RARE moments in high school when despite the crushing awkwardness I felt, there was a glimmer of hope and pride in there somewhere. I have often thought if I hadn't become so distracted and confused and sad during that period of my life I could have pursued further higher education in the fields of chemistry. but that is all a story for another time, and for those who know me of course I did not involve myself in chemical science.

it's no secret I have vivid dreams. crazy, scary, epic, hilarious, disjointed, focused, imagination altering dreams.

but every once in a while, something is different.

on rare occasions, I will wake with a different perspective on what was going on behind my peepers. a recent case in point:

I was sitting in a diner, what would NOW be described as a very old diner, but to me was totally familiar. it must have been the late 20s/early 30s. I had the sense I was in a large metropolitan area. it was a long room with glass windows at the front and counter service to my right side, with a short wooden wall dividing small wooden tables and booths parallel to it. it was quite crowded, not exceptionally noisy. I sat near the front at a crowded table yet knowing I was solo, facing the window. I turned around a time or two and could easily describe the people I saw sitting, eating, reading a paper, what they were wearing, the appearance of their clothes and hair. this was not an expensive restaurant (there was one man who stood up to unbutton his shirt to reveal his a large belly stretching a tank undershirt and suspenders to breaking point). I was waiting to eat, or had nothing to eat, and stood once to walk over to a glass fronted and topped candy counter near the front of the place in front of the window.

that's it. NOTHING happened. no strange events or meaning. no bizarro moment. in fact, it wasn't like a dream at all. it was like a memory. but not mine. I could feel the atmosphere around me, gauge my location and surroundings, hear more clearly than my own tinnitus-ed ears can, saw clearer than my vision affords, could describe the yellowish incandescence of the lighting, feel the quality of the material of the jacket I was wearing, feel the smooth sturdy thickness of the glass from eras long gone, could smell the type of wood of the booths mixed with food cooking and cigarette smoke, could describe the packaging of candies I have never heard of or no longer in existence in that case, could describe the city sounds muted just beyond.

it was a vivid recollection of a moment that happened to someone, or could have. I don't know perhaps it is just my vivid imagination. but I didn't wake with a feeling of "quite a dream" but more of a feeling like it was purely something remembered. a memory of something I never experienced but somehow did not seem foreign to me at all.

is there a theory into things like this? does it stand to reason that seeing as the brain runs or generates so much electricity that perhaps this is possible? in that, just as the brain is capable of "recording" stimulus we experience that perhaps the memory of others is broadcast beyond their mortal coil? or is released into the atmosphere at passing and picked up by others like signals from a radio? are certain brains tuned to the same frequencies and more apt to dial into this? is there a collective unconscious that is tapped by brains that are receptive to signals more strongly than others?

who the hell really knows? apparently there are large areas of the brain that are mostly unused or not understood, so maybe it's not so far fetched. our brains remember so many things that are broadcast to us from across the airwaves or through a signal in a cable or from a tower of power somewhere. people have been around a lot longer than this sort of man-made technology, and that is an incalculable number of firing synapses. so...?

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