The Interior Layout of My Human Brain

Everyone’s mind is different. The way we imagine things are unique to us. I suspect that no one can tell us how to think (any religioids can explain to me if it is otherwise — I’ve never been to a Sunday School class, so they might actually tell you exactly how thinking works and then how to do what they want you to do). But as far as I know, we are just free-falling into thoughts and building our own mental structures within our own heads.

Our minds are like if we had to build a house without any experience at all! Some people are more naturally adept at concepts of engineering while others will never build a spice rack successfully — not even with instructions! I now imagine each of us as little wandering malformed houses indicating our levels of self-awareness.

This is an old illustration of Amandoll with her attention span disorder blasting out of the top of her head in scribbles and it is titled "Amanda and her amazing technicolor dream brain." Only there is a rickety and incomplete house trying (and failing) to contain it. She is saying, "Welcome to my house. Keep your shoes on."

I have said before that my brain is not soothing or quiet. Some people wonder what it’s like in here. My house is something like the beautiful Wisconsin tourist attraction called The House On The Rock. Both it and my mind are sprawling and contain overwhelming exhibits that delight some people and other peopleā€¦ well, they leave early and ask for their money back. But read the sign on the wall, jerks:

This is a sign in caution colors red and white that reads: no refunds. No requests honored.
Putting this sign on every wall of Sneer HQ.

First of all, there is always sound on in the Lobby, as I call the central part of my mind. I have three distinct layers of sound. There is always a song that I know playing in my thoughts. But also I have audio memories playing. These are most often snippets of conversations I was a part of or overheard. Loudest of all the noise is the Algonquin Round Table of Amandas bantering with each other or making observations of what’s going on externally.

Aside from these three radio speakers wired throughout my brain, I also have what I imagine as a wall of televisions which display a few types of imagery.

Walls And Towers Of Memories

I have a few memory channels playing in my head’s lobby, off to the side but still always visible and flickering. Some of the memories are of recent past. For example, I just checked in, and the scenes of being in the kitchen and walking up the stairs are just playing silently, like flashes of imagery in dreams that don’t really add to the plot. I also have an abundance of distant past playing. At the moment of writing, I see clips from my grandma’s house in the 1980s, the forest my family lives in, a party I was at in 2003.

Drawing of a dark room with at least 7 TV screens on the walls, 4 doors, a ship steering wheel, a table, and 7 visible Amandolls sitting around.
IRL it is less furnished.

My televisions also play actual scenes from tv and movies that I’ve seen, but I think that they are actually memories of watching them, more than only them playing alone. Except for all of the Simpsons clips that are playing. I guess they live here now. All of the memories are generally without audio unless I choose to go in deeper and re-live the past. Sometimes any of these happen to sync up with the audio playing of old conversations. I imagine that is when I start paying attention more.

Metaphors? Sure I’ve Met Plenty Of Phors!

Whatever my eyes are seeing in front of me as I’m living it, or whatever action I am taking, whatever situation I am puzzling over — my mind is simultaneously playing a seemingly unrelated thing. It took me a pretty long time to realize what it was, honestly. Not until my twenties, I’d say. Maybe it isn’t even a metaphor generator, but they do seem to be connected.

I just tested it. When I sat at my desk, arms raised to type, then looked over off to my right in thought, I saw in my mind a bird of prey atop a boulder in a field making the same motion, looking to its right. Is that who I think I am? Is it embarrassing to contemplate? What is my mind doing? All I know is that it offers me an endless amount of what you might think are random images that I can draw or paint, if I want to.

A drawing of a harpy eagle but it is colored the same as Amandoll's iconic shirt: blue, lime, hot pink, and grey. It says next to it: "thinkin' bout it"
See? Just like that, easy as pie.

Cartoons!

Whenever I am chatting on the internet, which is blissfully frequent, I am laying it out as one of my dumb real chat comics. As you can probably tell, I am pretty much always talking to the same small cluster of knuckleheads, so our characters are solid in my mind. To inspire jealousy in you, I will also let you know that actually the chats are playing out like a fully animated yet simple cartoon movie, and the comics I make are actually storyboards of the action. It’s glorious and I wish I had all the time and energy in the world to make actual cartoons for you. Alas.

Idle Thoughts

Most commonly, I think about grass growing. If someone asks what I’m thinking about, I usually pick from this area, and I make sure that something boring like grass is at the top of my mind in case someone pries.

The second most common idle thought is wondering over what these images in my mind must mean. I wonder if I had originally panicked over how busy my mind is and not taken it in stride, would I have walked the path of disordered mental insanity? Idle thoughts make up the majority of my sneer campaign content, I think. Imagine if I didn’t have an outlet! I also puzzle over world events that I am powerless to change, and busy myself making connections between things that could easily slide into the horrible world of Conspiracy Theory if I ever let myself BELIEVE in anything. Idle thoughts are also where any fears or insecurities or intrusive thoughts dwell. Some days this cauldron of thought soup is bubbling over more than others.

Drawing of an overflowing cauldron. The soup is yellowish and thick and emanating cry eyes and skulls. An Amandoll dressed as a chef is running over with a ladle and oven mitt.
Who’s hungry?

Repository of Exhaustively Cross-Referenced Anecdotes Ready For The Telling

Anecdotes are life and I like having a personal story for any occasion. My anecdotes are housed in my head’s library. It is like a card catalog only faster. I have bookstacks towering all around me when I decide to slip in. Here I keep my anecdotes, anecdotes of happenings that happened in my dreams, and secondhand anecdotes from friends and family. I guess I can count anecdotes that I have heard from strangers while eavesdropping, strangers on live TV or interviews, biographies and memoirs. At this point in my life, it seems like any topic can arise and I can think of things relating to it, personally. In this way I am constantly strengthening the ties between topics. I also use this power for catch phrases and instant, familiar quips.

That Shape Always Repeating

I have a shape in what feels like the center of my mind that draws over and over again. It is always an electric green color. I don’t bother it. It’s like I found it and there it can stay.

illustration of an Amandoll looking on, perplexed, at a hovering neon green diamond shape that has little loops on each corner.
Leave it alone.

The Bestiary and Unfun Fair

A more recent addition to my world has been the acreage I have set aside to house the rage elephant, huppo, sphere of hatred, and all of those emotional roller coasters. There is a cemetery in the back full of unmarked graves where I bury the thoughts of people who are dead to me now (not actual dead people, don’t call the police), or experiences that I became so mad over that I determined it was not healthy. I put these things in little fury jars and bury them here. I forget about them. The end.

Illustration of Amandoll's little beleaguered head. A disc replacing the top half of her head is a little amusement park with roller coasters, carousel, ferris wheel. Words along the bottom say, somewhat menacingly, "the fun never stops."

More About The Amandas.

You know those humorous cartoons and movies where the inside of a head is controlled by emotions fighting each other for the steering wheel? My mind is almost like that but the characters are all me, not even in different costumes, and we mostly get along. If there are differences, it’s like one Amanda is a little glum, one is more cynical, one more given to caustic, catty remarks and drinking a gin drink. When I am thinking this relentless group monologue and festival of sublime comedy, all of the voices are just my voice, so it isn’t like there are “”voices in my head.”” They are all my thoughts, I just have a lot of thoughts. I have a lot to remark upon. It’s just a crowd of me trying to be the funniest so that my body convulses out laughter inappropriate to my real life setting.

There is only room for one Amanda at a time that gets to wear aviator goggles and man the helm. That is the one that decides which, if any, comments leave my mouth. It is my filter to prevent snappish retorts from blistering out of my face.

Close up from the drawing of the head lobby, of the aviator goggle wearing Amandoll. A different Amandoll has snuck up and is about to steal the microphone.
This drawing represents an impending mood swing, NOT mental insanity!

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