“The story is always better than your ability to write it.” — Robin McKinley
Synapses are essential to neuronal function: neurons are cells that are specialized to pass signals to individual target cells, and synapses are the means by which they do so.
I don’t do well with emotions. Same goes with humans.
I’m bad at The Game of Life.
I feel like an alien moving through the place most of the time, acting and interacting with people in the ways that I see other people acting and interacting but I’m always just a bit off. The things I expect to happen just…miss. They fly past, a near-Earth Object.
There is a constant dance to how this process works: It begins, always with me in the tiny, niche world I’ve created for myself; then I decide to leave the world, slowly at first and soon up to super-sonic speeds where I find – and smash against — the NEO; and then broken, bloodied and limping back into my world.
You would think that after all these years, I would have either perfected the art of not smashing into the NEOs or simply decided to stay within my comfort zone. That’s not the case.
I have a bad memory and an eternal sense of hope. Romanticism I’m told. Because eventually my wounds heal, my memory erases and I venture forth convinced that this time – this time – the outcome will be different.
I think this because the brain – and its synapses – are funny buggers. They pass information through the mechanism. Information that’s analyzed and interpreted. But then it a cosmic-ly funny kind of way, those synapses spit out an intelligence briefing created by a mind with a bad memory and an eternal sense of hope.
And I go back out. Again.
Here’s the problem.
I have never been one to dip into…anything. If I decide to do something, I dive. Head first and without regard to consequence. I have never understood the world any other way.
For example: Some people start running to get back in shape. Me, I ditch the running shoes for my Vibram Five Fingers, sign up for 2 marathons and an ultra marathon and spent a year of my life pushing my body beyond it’s logical capabilities.
Of course, this isn’t about running. Or shoes. Or marathons. Although there is Romantic-ness in all of it. This is about the heart, and the matters of it. Where barreling full bore isn’t always the wisest course of action even though for much of my life this attitude of mine has served me well.
However bad I am at emotions, at understanding humans, at The Game of Life, and at the synapses, I can’t change.
In the moments after the smashing, as I lay battered on the shorelines, the synapses fail me. Those little bastards that spit out faulty information turn on themselves like piranha, eating the weakened ones with no regard for relations and kinship.
I lay there, my mind eating itself, sending the tiny fragments of memories untouched – always the worst of the memories – looping over themselves. Mocking.
While I know it’s coming even while the events are unfolding in real time, it’s never gotten easier. Never helped me get more ready to handle the impact even though I’ve been through it before. It’s just never been any different than the very first time I smashed against the rocks.
I work very hard to make sure it’s never been any different than the very first time.
Because I’ll go back out. Again.
Knowing the next time – the most important time – will be different.