How Do You Clean Your Head Out?

How exactly does one clear out the noise in their head?

I’ve asked this question since I started writing. I was 12 years old and wanted to write about baseball. I wasn’t a troubled kid but I had energy and a will to express myself that couldn’t work face to face. So I went to the page. I had terrible handwriting by the way. It was like reading coded letters from a guy with 2 fingers and floating in outer space. So I eventually found a keyboard and went to work. Life has never been the same since. I don’t just write to write because it’s fun starting at a computer screen. I write to clear the noise out of my head. There’s nothing more therapeutic for me than writing and drinking coffee. A hot cuppa joe and a way to exit the real world and just put something into words. But…it doesn’t always work.

Sometimes, the noise in your head is so loud that a physical activity is required. A run. A workout. A trip to the batting cages. Something to clear out the noise. ¬†Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Let’s give it a try today because my head is so full that it could heat up a bag of corn.

The Cards are done and I am back to that normal feeling of having free time in the evening. A baseball schedule is gone. The everyday thought of where the game is and who is pitching and what will happen. With no offense to hockey or football, baseball players go at it daily. Hockey takes 3-5 off days and football is once a week. Pardon my letdown but it isn’t the same.

This is where movies come in though, right? Those 2 hour escapist exercises where you climb onto a tank with Brad Pitt or you stand between Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Durvall in a courtroom? Maybe you stay at home and go back to the 1930’s and hit up Boardwalk Empire or climb a ladder with Chicago Fire. Something right? Man those people look so clean and sharp even though they are supposed to be fighting fire, avoid gunfire or just waking up in bed. That can’t be real….

I know. I should go outside. Go to the park. Feel the fresh air on your face. Pick a pumpkin or apple. Take some pictures. Run around. Be cool and free. Take the kids. Be a family. Put up decorations. That might work too.

The existential crisis of all people is finding worth in every single day you are here. Some attach that to God. Some attach it to what happens on Earth(haven’t checked out Mars yet so I am sorry Mars people or things). What are we doing here? Are we doing it right? Once you have found something, how hard is it to keep it or do right by it? That is the noise in my head. Am I doing enough and am I doing it right?

Temptation is a dangerous thing. It’s like a virus. It can sweep through your system and push you to the edge but it won’t push you off the cliff. You have to do it yourself. You have to put one foot in front of the other and make that plunge. There are several kinds of temptations. Ones that have to do with the heart and ones that require a match or a bottle opener. The hardest temptations are the ones that focus on cause and effect. You deal with them every day. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are good.

I want to read more books. I used to read a lot of high school and college. Short stories. Sports history. World War II. True crime. Anything that I could turn pages with and develop a foot or leg that fell asleep. You know that time and a moment have taken a hold of everything when your entire lower half of the body falls asleep. The pelvis starts to fall asleep and you get up and it feel like bean bags are dancing inside your pants because the muscles in your legs have relaxed for far too long. I stopped reading when I started writing a lot. I know that’s not the way professors and experts teach you to do it but hey, I never said I was perfect.

I could go for another run, but you know how your knees truly feel about pavement? They hate it. Bad knees. Sore ankles. That comes from running on solid concrete. You can design a shoe that shoots penicillin into your Achilles Heel and it will still hurt. Maybe I’ll run on sand. Where do they have sand? Beaches! Where are beaches? Got it.

I could cook more. Throw out the recipe book and just start mixing foods, spices and whatever I can find together into dangerous concoctions. Cooking is what people who are afraid of dancing or heights do to calm their nerves. They choose to be wild and free with their stomachs instead of their legs. Some people cook and dance but don’t sky dive. Cooking is therapy for several people dealing with the existential crisis.

I could get into politics more…or not.That’s a jungle saved for a certain kind of person and I don’t think I fit the bill.

I could think about being a cop again. Then I may get shot just for wearing a badge and nothing else.

I could be a firemen. Are they happy people?

I could get into religion more but where’s the fun in playing by the rules?

I could go get some drinks with friends. Beer if I want to be loud and belligerent. Whiskey if I want to speak slower and more composed and rant a little. Beer if I want to slowly sink into quick sand and get drunk. Whiskey if I want to stumble after 2-3 fingers of a bottle. There’s nothing like drinking a beer very fast and getting that hazy feeling in your head and stomach. Your legs develop a temporary spring and you feel like running. Whiskey you can pound but you better warn your stomach because lava is flowing down the throat and it won’t be easy to break down. There’s a reason the greatest poets and writers drank so much. One can’t be grounded in reality if they want to be perfectly cynical or on point.They also can’t be grounded to begin with. Drinking takes you away from reality but always slams you back into it. Unless you keep drinking and then you are that…person.

I guess I could just exist. Find passion in things. New things. Travel. Find an adventure. The reason I found the film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, so great was the basic premise of the story. A man who daydreams all the time and literally leaves his consciousness during his daydreams finally gets to actually experience a real adventure. I think there is a Walter Mitty in all of us. A part of us that sits around every day wondering if this is all we got. Friends. Family. Sex. Exercise. Food. Alcohol and temporary wildness. A small part of ourselves that grows like a virus throughout our system before we act on it. That movie was deeper than many critics gave it credit for. It spoke to me.

Sometimes, you just have to deal with the cards in your hand. Get out and live your life. Do certain things differently. Run in the opposite direction. Take risks. Dare to be eccentric because people will be shocked by your new found grip on the world.

Don’t think I am unhappy. I am quite the opposite. I just don’t deny the feelings that exist inside me. You can’t because they may swallow you whole. You acknowledge them. Nod towards them.

Life is about keeping the demons at bay and keeping the legs moving forward. It’s about confronting change and seeing if you need it or not. It’s about taking hits and rolling off and firing a few jabs of your own. That’s all we can do. Until we learn to fly…

I could keep going but I think you are all asleep. Thanks for reading this stream of consciousness.

-DLB

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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