One of my earliest memories is also what I consider my own creation myth.
I think I was about three years old. I was staring at the sky through a window and at the same time watching dust particles float on the surface of my eye. I was frustrated.
I began thinking about atoms and molecules. Not in a scientific way; but the way you think about stuff you need to do something with. I mean, that shit was piling up.
I began making things out of these atoms and molecules. I made oxygen and water. Then I started making furniture and clothes and houses. Then came the planets and the solar system. I didn’t think I was God or anything. I knew it was all inside my mind.
I’m realizing now that the impetus to do that when you’re an infant is kind of unusual. I don’t mean it’s spectacular or intelligent. I mean I wish I could have been just a dumb kid mad about being left alone all day in her crib.
What I did with my feelings and my mind changed me forever. It gave me a kind of cognitive flexibility that makes it somewhat difficult to feel like a real person.
The first movie I remember is Pinocchio. At the drive-in with my dad and my sister and brother. I understood immediately what he felt like. He wanted to be real in the way others were real. Flesh and blood. Stupid. Capable of lying and shame. The sort of things people do when they’re acting.
I wish I could go back to that time and kill a few hundred thousand of my brain cells. Take a different path.
When I saw people acting differently than their values, I cut off those parts of the universe as best I could. I still made mistakes. I remember each time I acted out of malice or against my values. I’m just as flawed as the next human, but I knew I was doing wrong every time. Experiments.
My brother was always the smart one. The kind one. My sister was a real human. I wonder what it was like for her. It was probably pretty lonely.
It’s ironic to me that I’m so smart but chose to be stupid. I needed to muffle it, needed to put it all somewhere. I tried to hide it because I didn’t want anyone else controlling me.
I had my own universe. What else could I possibly need?