In my lifetime, there have been many things that have contributed to the loss of my brain cells, as I’m sure those of you who know me would attest. There was early drug and alcohol use, a couple of concussions, countless hours of Gilligan’s Island and of course, as chemist, copious amounts of various chemicals. I have cleaned up a number of mercury spills, smoked PCP and Quaaludes before the age of 14 and crashed my bike into the back of a parked car, resulting in a couple minutes of blissful darkness– not all on one occasion, although that would be a funny story. Hell, I was destined to be a genius, before I intervened.
It’s difficult for me to decipher if certain things like forgetting someone’s name or forgetting how to spell, is due to my advancing age or my past shenanigans. I know I awoke on my 40th birthday needing reading glasses, but other things are just too hard to call. Recently I was trying to spell the word “drop” but I had one of those moments where I was certain I had never encountered the word before. Although I knew its definition, I could not conjure up its image, as if it were completely foreign. No, I wasn’t stoned; it was just me, in all my glory. [Drop]… J—R—O—P… Jrop… Jrop? I jropped the ball? I jropped my fucking brain on the sidewalk? With a glut of options, it’s difficult to identify the cause of such brain farts but one thing for certain, rises above and trumps all of the other culprits.
In third grade we lived with my dad and his crazy wife Mel in Eugene, Oregon. Our house was a small two-bedroom shanty, in which dad and Mel occupied one of the bedrooms and Jason and Jere the other. Jerry and I spilt the couch and the loveseat in the living room. Ok, it wasn’t quite a shanty, I’m being overly dramatic, shit-hole is more like it. Dad had a day job but sold pot on the side and Mel was an over the top, crazy who liked to fight and drive super fast cars, as you may have read in prior posts. Both were fond of altering their realities and taught us too, at early ages. I suspect Mel was attempting to exercise her best judgment as a parent in introducing us to the “Pass Out Game” as a safer way to get high. I mean, unlike the other ways we had all been exposed, the “Pass Out Game” wasn’t illegal, nor was there an age limit restriction. Shit, as far as she was concerned, it was probably part of Sunday school activities somewhere.
Now, without going into the details of how it is done specifically, I will say that it involves one hyperventilating and then cutting off the blood supply to the brain. There is no doubt in my mind that in the long list of brain cell killing activities in which I have participated, this one is the master. If killing brain cells were the goal, this activity would earn an “A”. Killing them softly, each one exhaling it’s last buzzing “wah-wah” breath, as they fade into darkness. A sensation that is a certain glimpse into the big ending, I’m sure. We would spend entire afternoons rotating turns as Mel facilitated our high. When it was Mel’s turn, Jerry was big enough to wrap his arms around her to assist. He did learn to gently lay her on the couch after an unfortunate incident of she crashing on top of the coffee table as her large body went limp beyond his capacity to hold.
Thus brings me to address the title of my blog. In my earliest entries I have discussed the point of the title and it’s certain that the intent can be made from the title alone but the question remains, would I have been better off raised by wolves? I recognize there is the possibility of being eaten or maybe bitten in a tussle with a brother wolf or something, but I maintain there would probably have been some really good moments as well. Romping in a field of wildflowers or sharing a deer carcass as a family? There’s no way a mother wolf would have taught me how to self asphyxiate for the fun of it. I suspect quick thinking and wit are valued in the wolf community and anything jeopardizing survival would be frowned upon.
The pitfalls of such an upbringing have been deep but since passed and I celebrate our survival with my wolf brothers today. The residual effects will linger as I forget more and more words but know that I am healing. As it progresses and gets worse, I might just start telling people I was jropped on my head as a baby.