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The Blind Plumber and the Amnesiac

Posted: November 29th, 2005 | Author: Brian | Filed under: Life in General | 2 Comments »

I sometimes forget what it feels like to be alive. Actually, this happens to me a lot. I’m not really even sure how someone can forget something that monumental. But I do. I really do.
Perhaps its the combination of being overly sensitive and adaptable — not in the sense that renders me any credit, but rather the fact that I developed a defense mechanism to cope with being constantly hurt. Instead of being perpetually damaged, I somewhere learned how to make myself numb. The problem is, if you get good enough at turning off the emotional faucet, you’ll begin to forget…ever so slowly…where the shut off valve even is. And you’ll forget how to turn it back on.
I search for things in my life that help me remember. From point to point, I seek items that teach me…no, help me relearn what it is to be alive. Music keeps my heartbeat alive, helping the blood flow through my veins. Art and design, when good enough to penetrate my learned defenses, help me feel refreshed. Photos help me remember what I felt, not what I saw. I may even crack a smile from time to time. Certain albums, certain paintings, certain books awaken inside me something that I knew was there, but forgot how to remember it even existed. It’s as if I have no emotional short term memory, and everything I experienced and cherished once, is forgotten as soon as the experience is over.
So from song to song and print to print I hop. I feed and I exist soley on the energy generated inside me from these things. And when I get weary of it all, I just stand. Motionless. Without direction and without purpose, I let the weeks pass over me like standing on a hill in a snowstorm. There is movement around me, that much I can detect. But there is no movement inside me. And that makes the paralysis worse.
Years of knowing this has gotten me little progress. I have yet to find what it will take to cure myself, to learn how to let the emotional process be automatic and lasting. All I’ve learned is how to cope better, with certain albums, photographers and special friends.
Learning how to feel all over again, without knowing what it was that made you forget in the first place, is not an easy task. And as my close friends move further away, I’m thankful for being left with my music, my art and my wife.
But please don’t let me forget again. Don’t let me give way to the numbness. I don’t want to forget what it feels like to be alive.


2 Comments on “The Blind Plumber and the Amnesiac”

  1. 1 Rudy said at 1:15 am on November 30th, 2005:

    B -
    I’m somewhat confused as to how you can make the following comment: “It’s as if I have no emotional short term memory, and everything I experienced and cherished once, is forgotten as soon as the experience is over.”
    I question this because something that’s been a recurring theme/topic in your posts has been how much you miss your friendships (and appreciate them). This theme/topic seems to resurface about every 2-3 months or so, my rough guess. If you are as numb as you describe, why would the same stimuli/focus point keep arising, and on such a predictable pattern?
    So my put to you, I don’t think you’re as emotionally Alzheimerish as you think you are.

  2. 2 Brian Faust said at 7:49 am on November 30th, 2005:

    Point well taken. It’s just that I think those feelings/posts/sentiments are me seeking that emotional high again, like a junkie. I crave remembering what it’s like to have constant friendship surrounding me. And I think those writings are just a mere extension of that longing for regained feeling.