Friday, June 23, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

For those of you with vivid imaginations, you will know what I’m talking about when I say that I had one of those terrifying, out-of-body, nauseating experiences today when FACT and what I’ve always made up to be fact had a head-on collision.

In these moments, I feel like Mario stuck at the top of the screen, waiting for someone to push pause again so my heart can resume beating and air can start traveling back up my nose. I sweat and get a headache.

The world shattered because I got the rare opportunity to see what the inside of an ear looks like today.

This has been a life-long dream of mine. This aspiration has been something I’ve thought about and imagined my entire life.

It took two minutes to look at the inside of some ears. It will take me two years to come to grip with the hard evidence that what I’ve always envisioned the inside of an ear looking like…and what it actually looks like are so far from identical, it’s comical.

It leaves me wondering, “What else have I made up in such a real and earth-bending way, that I honestly believe it to be reality?”

Today, FACT about human ear anatomy and my made-up idea of what the inside of my ear looks like stepped into the ring together to have it out and FACT laughed so hard at made-up-fact, that FACT peed it’s pants. These moments in time when this happens leave me reeling, unable to sleep or concentrate. Why does my brain make up reality and convince me it’s true? My brain brainwashes me. My own brain!

Think about it…

I started seeing the doctor at a very young age…like birth…and, since the doctor’s office is like a warp zone in and of it self, it has always intrigued me. When they put me in that room, what are they doing on the other side of that door once they shut me in my little space to patiently wait for the doctor? Clogging? Belly Dancing? Running down the hall naked? Talking to the CIA? I listen, through the door, but I can’t make out their language or activity. I’ve never wished for x-ray eyes more than when I’m at the doctor’s office. I'm sure Superman gets to see lots of nurses and doctors playing Heads Up Thumbs Up and sharing a cheese tray when it's time for his annual checkup. I don't know how they do it, but somehow, they turn off the Billy Ray Cyrus, remove their cowboy hats and swallow their cheese, regaining their composure quite nicely before lightly tapping on my door.

Now back to what I'm doing inside the room while the people in the hall play Twister. Once I'm left alone to wait for the doctor who will be right in, I start looking through all the drawers, all the cabinets, pull down every instrument off the wall…it’s a rush…a cheap thrill to see if I can look through everything and be back in my seat before the doctor softly knocks on the door. I’ve always won. Don’t worry.

The ear tool has always been incredibly fascinating to me. I could never figure out how to use it. Several times, while we’re waiting for a doctor to come into the room, I’ve taken one of my very own children and used the ear contraption to try and satisfy my life-long curiosity. I’d stick the black beak down their ear but I saw nothing. I learned today that I wasn’t doing it right.

I learned today, that if you use the ear tool correctly, you will clearly see that there is no swimming pool in my ear with people swimming in it, kindly waiving at the doctor peeking inside.

I learned today that you can’t see my tongue through my ear.

You laugh.

Don’t laugh. I was brainwashed. I think that’s a form of abuse. Abuse is certainly not a laughing matter. Never mind that my own brain abused me. Long ago, in a doctor’s office far away, my brain must have painted a picture of a swimming pool with people swimming in it and a tongue moving in the back ground before I had any powers to fight back with a mind old enough to say… “Na…that’s silly. Friendly swimmers aren’t in your ears. Fluid is not a swimming pool, and there would have to be a window installed between your ear and your mouth in order for the people swimming in there to see your tongue…that’s just nonsense, little girl…quit thinking that immediately.”

Since I was helpless to fight back, my brain convinced me it was so.

After seeing an ear in real-life and real time, I wanted to take my brain out and spank it. How could it have done that to me? I was almost home from the doctor’s office and I thought, “I’m going to miss those people in my ear.” That’s when I had to stop myself from imagining myself sadly hugging the swimmers good bye and handing them their towel and I said, out loud, “There were never people in my ear.” I felt like Dorothy. I just knew after saying those words I would wake up and be home, where ears have swimmers and all lions are males and tigers are females.

Those were obviously not the magic words, or maybe I didn’t have on the right shoes because after I said it the only thing that happened was a red light turned green…and I kept driving home…my real home, full of real ears with simple holes in them that look like bees should live inside.

I’m never looking inside a body again. Never. Never ever.


Hendrick Family said...

The other big whammies for me were the moments I found out people didn't used to be black and were, but people and the earth were in color...even a long time ago. That threw me.

And, when I flew in an airplane, looked down and realized that there were no lines drawn on the United States and each state was not pink, purple, yellow and green.

I remember the sweating.

ontripoli said...

I agree

Jon, Sally, & Jude said...

Heather, my comment to you is so special that I posted it on our blog. :0)

Karen said...

Wow Heather! Thats some kind of imagination you have there! Are any of your kids this creative?

D.O. said...

man, I was going to remind you of both the black and white AND the state line incidents, but you did it yourself...

You failed, however, to mention that the next part of the human head that you will be inspecting is the eyeball!!

Jennifer Bacak said...

The ear tool thingy is called an otoscope. And I truly wonder what you would be like on acid if this is you, hallucinogen-free? (You are hallucinogen free, right?)
Your loving friend!

Jennifer Bacak said...

Hey, and as for the latest title on your blog...I don't know that I like parfait. It's very likely that I don't. I'm not sure how I feel about this assumption. Parfait is not for everyone; of this I am sure!

Sarah Vierling said...

Just so you know, you are a source of laughter to me. I am lonely without my chicks and the laughter that was usually more common than breathing, but your blog gives me the the out loud giggles even when i am alone. thank you!

BHG & Co. said...

"This has been a life-long dream of mine. This aspiration has been something I’ve thought about and imagined my entire life."

Who dreams of this really?? You are so.... i don't know what the right word is... but it is in the superlative. And for the record, though I haven't heard of the b&w/geography issues before, I am not suprised AT ALL! It is no surprise that it was so much fun to work with ya'll....

Bill (& Heather)