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A Letter to My Brain To Open a Discussion on the Topic of Focus.

Dearest brain,

I feel like you and I have been friends for a long time. Sure, there were the years I abused you, but I’ve always been a better friend to you than my body. I mean, that’s not to say my body has ever treated me badly, but we’ve had a strained relationship. We’ve always had a bit of a disconnect and I’ve never gone out of my way to take care of my body since I reside so wholly in my mind. Brain, you know, I know it. It’s the truth. Sorry, body, I’m trying to be better to you, but you cannot change the past. We’ll get back to you in a little bit.

So, brain, why are you thwarting every attempt I’ve made the last three days to do any work? HMMmmmmmm?? You allow me just brief glimpses of focus, 2, maybe 4 minutes tops. Why not just let me focus on the shit I need to do? What the hell is up with you?

I’ve noticed a pattern with you, brain. I’ve noticed that when I am hungover or tired or feeling shitty, you have a much easier time letting me get down to work. What’s that about? Must I constantly be hungover/tired/sick to accomplish anything? Must I wait until the middle of the night to have creative revelations and be focused enough to actually make them real? Why cannot I not just feel ok and awake and healthy and not have you bothering me all the time by thinking of 80 million things all at once.

For example, today, in my effort to reacquaint myself with my body, I’m well rested, not hungover in the slightest (surprising since I had a birthday dinner last night for a good friend, nor any drop to drink), and I’ve eaten. EATEN! I never eat! All remarkable things considering the state of Joe the last few years. But I can’t do anything for longer than a minute before I get distracted and look away. This stupid letter has taken me hours of writing a sentence, fucking off for a while, pacing the office, watching some dailies, trimming my selects, stretching on the skate ramp, digging through the pantry for snacks, and then sitting back down and writing another sentence.

Brain! I’ve got work to do! This Safeway turkey thing won’t cut itself! I just need like 2 hours from you. Come on, you can do it. I can crank out something in 2 hours. I know you know exactly where we need to go with it; let’s just bang it out and be done. Why fight me? Why fight me all the time?! Is this what ADD feels like? If it does, I feel sorry for people who are afflicted with this. Fuck, it’s not like this is new for me. Maybe I’m all attention-deficit too. Who knows. I’m not a doctor, brain, though I do know how to remove sutures. That’s all right.

Wait! Back to the matter at hand! Brain! Focus! Help! There’s nothing out there that cannot wait! Just shut up for a minute and let’s pay our work attention so we can go back to being a flighty, distracted pair again. Please? Please? PLEASE?


The Black Laser.

PS – Body, sorry, told you I’d get back to you. Yes, I am scared about the possibility of 100 pullups, 200 pushups, and 300 squats for time tomorrow. Yes, I know, the squats not so scary, and neither are the pullups (assisted, of course), but 200 pushups. Holy shit, I know. Maybe we go tonight instead and do 1200 meters, 30 deadlifts with weight, and 63 pullups? Decisions! Should we do both?

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