Do you think Jon Hamm would like me in real life: Monologue for a brain

[Curtain rises on a stage pitch black except a dim spotlight on a woman in a rumpled but comfortable-looking bed. She leans over and turns on her sound machine—winter wind—and snaps off the small lamp on the nightstand, cocooning herself in the blankets and preparing for sleep. Just as it appears that she is drifting off, a loud, unsettling voice comes over the loudspeaker.]

Brain: Hey, I see you’re almost through with your relaxation routine? Which is cool and everything, but I just thought I’d remind you that one day your parents are going to die. I don’t know if you want to spend a few minutes going over those scenarios, but I’m going to assume that you do, so please watch these horrifying daydreams capturing what it might be like in your parents’ last moments. Enjoy! [A screen descends from the ceiling, displaying silent, flickering images of the woman in the bed crying dramatically while leaves drift past a window streaked with rain.]

I wonder what it would be like to have just like a really big dog. Like comically big, like a Great Dane or some other kind of dog. I wonder if you could ride it like a horse. Why don’t you get up and go get your phone and see if there are any dogs so big that you can ride them like horses? No? Okay. Maybe in the morning.

This pillow is too hot. But the other side of it is too cold. It might help if you flopped around like an electrified fish for a few minutes to get everything just right.

Do you think Jon Hamm would like me in real life? I feel like he would, but then again, I honestly can’t tell, because it seems like he might also be a little bit of a douchebag. Would you like to spend some time fantasizing about a road trip you and Jon Hamm would take together that would mostly consist of you singing along with the radio and him in awe of how fantastic your singing voice is? Yes? I feel like the answer to this one is always yes. [The images on the screen change to the woman in the bed sitting in a car with Jon Hamm, who is smiling at her raptly as she sings along with “Love Will Keep Us Together” by the Captain and Tennille, too lost in the song to notice his look of obvious adoration.]

You know, I want to be thin, but I also want to eat everything.

Are you sure you don’t want to play a few more games of Best Fiends? Because I feel like you’re so close to solving this level. The magic might be gone if you try it again in the morning.

Oh, your kids are also going to die one day, BTW. Just thought you might want to know.

OMG I JUST THOUGHT OF A COMEBACK TO THE SHITTY THING THAT WOMAN SAID TO YOU AT WORK TODAY. Here are several versions of how it could have played out if you had actually gotten to use this, instead of just blinking back tears until you got into your office and then sobbing like a wussy babyperson. All versions are highly satisfying, but I think you’ll especially enjoy the one where everyone around stands up and slow claps after you deliver your devastating retort and disappear into your office. [The images on the screen transition now to a scene in a maze of cubicles, each with a person’s head visible over the top. First one person, far from the action, claps once, almost sarcastically, but soon enough, everyone has joined in, and the shitty woman, chastened, runs away, crying so hard that tears shoot straight out of her eye sockets with the intensity of a garden hose.]

Wouldn’t it be cool to just, like, walk across the whole United States? I bet you’d be so thin at the end. And have so many wise revelations. You could write a book about it. Never mind that you can only walk for like five miles at a time before your legs turn into rubber bands and then you walk around like someone broke your kneecaps with a hammer for the rest of the day.

How do they make cheese? Isn’t cheese just, like, spoiled milk? I don’t understand cheese, and I don’t like it.

Holy shit, it is 2:00 in the morning. What is your problem? You blew it.

[SCENE]

Braving Beyond

When I woke up this morning, feeling the sharp ends of a thousand feathers poking directly into my cheek like some form of duck acupuncture (duckupuncture?) from my worn-out, cheap-to-begin-with down pillow, I got it in my head that I would not be able to sleep again until I had purchased a new pillow.

This happens to me sometimes. For instance, sometimes I will never be able to read another book until  I buy a Kindle cover emblazoned with the words “THUG LIFE” in fancy script, or pay another bill until I have a space-age four-color pen with ink that turns clear if you microwave it, because there have been so many situations in my life in which I found myself disappointed that microwaving my paperwork did nothing but set my journals on fire.

Point is, every once in a while, I cease to function until I buy some useless shit. I’m assuming this is a fairly common occurrence, and not a gateway to a hoarding problem so severe that cat skeletons are unearthed beneath the mounds of detritus.

So with the girls at Grandma’s, I set out to a place so exotic and outside my comfort zone that I very rarely allow myself to go there:

Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I don’t know the last time you personally went to a Bed, Bath and Beyond, but it is insanely overwhelming. I’m pretty sure some of the dazed-looking people I wandered past in search of the pillow department have been there since the location opened in the mid-9os, and have yet to extricate themselves.

And just to overload you even more, they have moved what must be considered the Beyond section right up front, so the minute you enter the store, your senses are assaulted– SMELL THIS EUCALYPTUS LINEN SPRAY! SMELL IT WHILE YOU SIT ON THIS GEL SEAT INSERT THAT IS SO KIND TO YOUR BUTTOCKS! AND WHILE YOU’RE SITTING, RUB THIS CHEESE GRATER ON YOUR FEET AND THEN INSPECT THE GROSS SHAVINGS! DO IT! DO IT NOW!

By the time I made it to the Bed section, I was in a daze, clutching some cloth placemats, a set of grapefruit wax melts, and a Matchbox-car sized cutting board that I don’t even remember picking up. And my jangled nerves were not soothed at all when I finally reached the pillow department:

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Daunted, but grimly determined not to return home sans pillow, I set about the Sisyphean task of finding the right pillow for me:

  • Side sleeper
  • Medium firmness
  • Uses pillow in portrait orientation, wrapping arms around it like cuddling an armless torso
  • Mouth breather/on-again off-again drooler
  • Inexplicably heats up to 200 degrees in the middle of the night like a poorly designed oven

Surprisingly, I didn’t find any pillows whose labels expressly suited my needs, so I resorted to the age old tactic of resting my head on basically every pillow in the store, because the one thing I want more than a good night’s sleep is a raging case of lice. I’m sure I was probably freaking out the other, more experienced pillow purchasers, but at that point, I was lucky that I didn’t just give up and declare the pillow department my new bedroom.

I finally left with a pillow so fancy that it came in a foil-wrapped box, not unlike fine candies, but if fine candies were designed to offer optimum neck support. I immediately brought it home and suited it up in its new pillow case, and am anxiously counting down the hours until I can try it out. IT HAS A COOLING GEL INSERT, PEOPLE. That’s some Beyond shit right there!