You know, I don’t even pretend that I will write the insightful crowd-pleasing intelligent informative posts that you read on all the other days besides the second Saturday of the month. I firmly believe when you “try” to do what you think “should” be done, by god it just don’t feel right, right? I run my hillbilly feet from my mountain cove to the WU lovely suburbs and . . . well, there goes the neighborhood! Haw! I like to talk to you (empty my head). You know, yappity about stuff. We have some coffee and a scone, or some vodka and some vodka, and we open our mouths and stuff comes out.
Like, how sometimes when I’m watching The Big Bang Theory, I have this semi-uncomfortable feeling that I am oft-times too much like Sheldon. That I understand too much of what he says and does and it makes perfect sense to me, so that while I, and the studio audience, are laughing, I am also thinking, “Um . . . wait . . . we are laughing because this is a bit of the ridiculous . . . and so I am a bit of the ridiculous.” Teehee.
I know I have tics and weirdness and “ways I must do things.” Maybe a lot of that is from spending a lot of time alone with a lot of time for my brain to fill up with a lot of crap? I shrug.
My place is at the left end of the couch and this has been so for many years, even before Sheldon. When company comes, I hurry to sit on that end, because it is My End; however, if someone beats me to it, unknowing that this is My End, then I will toss and turn upon the other end of the couch; I am displaced! I am uncomfortable! Ungh! I would never say anything to the displacer but as soon as they go home, I pounce upon My End of the couch and nestle it back to its former Me-ness. I have a few moments of, “It feels weird because someone else has been here,” which I must quickly overcome so I can enjoy My End again. Huhn.
I’m not much of a meat eater, but when there is Meat Food prepared, it must be eaten within a day, maybe two. I imagine it is spoiling almost immediately, growing nasty crawling critters. I read articles you know! I’m informed! Milk is the same way. As soon as you open a carton of milk, it begins to spoil. I swear it does. Does so! Tell me someone else scrubs their watermelons and especially the bumpy cantaloupes with soap and water before slicing them? Yes? I know it’s not just me who has heard things.
When I shake a stranger’s hand, I begin to think, “I wonder where that hand’s been?” And the thought grows and grows until my hand tingles and I am just so AWARE of my hand! Sometimes this happens even if it is not a stranger and for this I can only ask for forgiveness inside my head. No one will ever know, because it is only me who can feel the cooties crawling all over my hand. Bleh. Now, with strangers, this can sometimes be my “People Radar” going off—the radar that tells me something ain’t right about a person and I am taken aback by the very force of those feelings, those Pay Attention feelings we all have but often ignore; well, let’s don’t ignore them, folks! But most times I suppose it’s because I am just Weird. Who else? Raise your tingly hand.
Sometimes I will step on a root or bump or something elevated in my path. Say I step on it with my right foot. Well, then the left foot begins to feel cheated. It wants to step on something elevated. I try to ignore it, but eventually, I give in and make sure I step on something elevated with the left foot. But there are times, just to be mean to my left foot, I will step on something elevated numerous times with my right foot and say, “HA! THERE! Try to control ME will you! hahaha!” It breaks the spell. Yeah. I am soooo much smarter and craftier than my foot.
There has to be an order to my outside world because there is so much going on in my brain. Make your bed every morning, Kathryn, and tuck in those covers so they don’t hang out and over. That goes there, no half an inch over, there now! Perfect. Is that out of place? Put it back—
But as if to contradict, I also can do chaos, and do the impulsive, though I am controlling that better. I am! My therapist said so. He is so very proud of me. I am preening now.
Before you have the wrong idea about me, I really am an easy going person. No! Really! Just very intense. An over-thinker. A bit strange and feral. And, though I’ve not been officially tested as Sheldon was, my therapist has deemed me nearly as sane as anyone else. He said, and I paraphrase, “Kathryn, everyone has something. We all have our quirks. Some maybe more than others …” (did he look at me funny?) “… so why should you think you are so weird? We’re all weird!”
I mean, look at those surrounding Sheldon: Leonard with his whiny mommy troubles; Raj couldn’t talk to women for years unless he had alcohol; smarmy Howard The Boy-Man with a slight Oedipus complex, and Penny who seemed like the sanest rock had her own insecurities. They looked upon Sheldon as the strange one, when after all they carried a load of stuff in their cray basket too.
—The top of the salt shaker must be blown off, each time, before placing back on the counter because there may be salt on it, sitting there, being salty; things look and feel better when they are moved from the store’s container into glass jars—nuts, raisins, rice, beans, Tide—I like things inside of things that aren’t the original things; when I go into my garage at the end of the day to make sure everything is closed up, if I don’t pat my car then its feelings may be hurt. Come on, tell me the truth, you all do some things like this too. I know you do! Spill it!
Shall I go on? Well, I shall not because I’m of the belief that you must leak out your crazy in dollops and dabs. Let people become used to it. Lull them into a sense of how they think you are quirky and slightly sweet and loveable, and then they accept all the crazy-arse stuff you continually insidiously throw at them without blinking an incredulous eye hardly one bit, hardly. My loved ones and family and friends seem to like being around me because: they accept who I am; they don’t know all the shit that goes on in my head; they find me interesting to study; all of the above or some combination thereof.
Why, my nature helps my writing! It does! Really! And your nature helps your writing, right?
I give away quirks to my characters because that’s how I write. But I also give them yours, too, by noticing tiny quirks about you that stick in my brain. I often notice and remember the tiny things about people more than the big things. I like to start with a character and some quirk or “Thing” they have and then follow them to see what they’ll do while navigating a world they believe is regular and normal when they don’t feel regular and normal.
Just now it hits me: I wonder if my characters are giving me their quirks! EPIPHANY! I never thought of that before! Yes. It all makes sense now! Those wily characters! Perhaps in some dimension, our characters are writing about us. (I hope they give us a happy ending.)
What about you? Quirks? Compulsions? Chaos? Music Earworms? Thoughts that make you go “Now what the hell made me think of that?” Crazy wild dreams? Sudden bouts of extreme happiness followed by “now what’s going to mess up my happiness?” This. That. The other. Do you give these things to your characters? (Or! *Gasp!* are they dumping on you their quirky behaviors?) Do you notice all the little things or only the big things or do you notice everything? Are you still here?