The Screaming Man on the Park Bench

I get weird when I’m tired.

Like really weird.

Just outright bizarre.

And I’ve been tired a lot lately.

You’re always thinking something, right? But you might not always be actively thinking a thought, y’know? Sometimes your mind drifts into this fluid space between your conscious and subconscious, and random, often nonsensical thoughts hit you out of nowhere.

I fall into that fluid space easily and often when I haven’t had much sleep. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been tired a lot lately.

See, most of the time, when you’ve been properly…sleepdrated (like hydrated but for sleep? There has to be a word for this that I can’t think of…but sleepdrated will do for now.), one of these weird thoughts fly at you like,

Hey you know what would be fun? Jumping into oncoming traffic!

and you can immediately distinguish that this is not a wise decision, it would not in fact be fun. You realize that it wasn’t your regular thoughts, your mind has drifted into the abyss, and you revert your focus and stay on the sidewalk.

There are those few times, though, when you are not fully equipped with the energy and sense to shut down these weird ideas. And when you let them linger in your head too long, they become their own thing and become harder and harder to stop. And thus we have the screaming man on the park bench.

My boyfriend picked me up from work one night after I pulled a 13 hour shift between two locations of my job. It was a pretty silent ride, as I was exhausted and he was focused on not letting us die at the hands of a New Jersey driver. We passed a park, and I broke into an uncontrollable giggle fit. I could not get it together. After maybe ten minutes, my laughing and tears subsided just enough to explain myself. Unfortunately for Dave, my sleep deprivation did not allow me the sense to share that it was a fleeting thought from my subconscious mind…

“There is a man sitting on a park bench, and he won’t stop screaming.”

“What? Where?”

“There’s a man. He just walked up one day, sat down at a bench, and screamed. He’s still screaming. He won’t stop.”

“At that park? What man? I didn’t see anyone screaming.”

“Why is he screaming? Does anybody know!? That man…”

“Uhm…okay I think it’s time we get you home.”

A few days go by after that. Dave and I are eating breakfast.

“He’s going to become a tourist attraction. He’s going to be on the news.”

“Who?”

“The screaming man on the park bench. He easily became a nuisance after like the first day.”

“Stormy, WHAT SCREAMING MAN??? Did you see this guy?”

“But why is he screaming, though? Is he sad? Is he angry? Is this personal or is this a protest?”

“I can’t with you.”

“Whole think-pieces are probably going to be written about him,” I yell as Dave walks out of the room, “like who he is, where he came from, if he has family! What does his family think?”

Another week, another night vedging out with Dave after a long day at work.

“Have you ever seen the music video for ‘Days Go By’ by Dirty Vegas?”

“Nope, never heard of it.”

“You need to see it.”

“…Okay? That’s not really the kind of music I go for.”

“No, the video!”

“What about it?”

“Maybe he lost somebody.”

“Who?”

“The screaming man…on the park bench.”

OH MY GOD.” 

Weeks later, Dave and I are venting about work drama.

“They can’t keep working me to death like this. One more week without a day off and I’m gonna…I’m gonna go to the park.”

“You’re gonna what?”

“I’m gonna go to the park, sit on a bench, and scream.”

My mouth dropped. “Oh my gosh. YOU’RE the screaming man on the park bench??? Am I clairvoyant!?”

“No…and no, but I think I can relate to him.”

“I think I can relate to him too sometimes. Maybe we all can.”

Maybe we all can.”

I get really weird when I’m tired. So weird, it’s contagious.

Huh…I wonder if the screaming is contagious…

He could garner a following! Maybe there will be screaming women on park benches! Woah…that screaming man..

 

Block

Wow, somebody remind me to never leave the Internet for two months EVER AGAIN.

I was going to publish a new post today. It was going to be enlightening. It was going to be witty. It was going to be relatable. It was going to be PROFOUND. 

Nah psych! It was going to be weird, you already know. I’m sorry for getting your hopes up.

But alas, it never made it to fruition. The thinking struggle is so real right now.

Because I’m out of my writing habit. The flow is not flowing, guys. I need to catch my wave again. It’s coming, I can at least see it. So that’s…something.

BUT NOT “SOMETHING” ENOUGH. NOT THE KIND OF SOMETHING THAT IS A BLOG POST. And you deserve more something. More something that is a blog post. So instead of giving up and rage-eating salad out of a bag like it’s popcorn…except with more butter (naturally), I will at least give you this.

My other idea has been transferred to my notebook. There’s something about hand-writing something over typing it. The ideas just write themselves. My mind wanders more freely. Maybe because writing by hand allows me to write in the same way that my mind organizes thought…in that it doesn’t have much organization at all.

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Welcome to my process…

I copied the beginnings of my drafted post into my book and almost immediately got struck with the rest of my lost ideas. But it’s raw thought. It needs some refinement. But it’s weird. My thoughts don’t survive well being birthed into rigid lines of black and white, letters appearing at the push of a button…all looking so uniform. No, I need five pens of different colors and I need to write in circles, and backwards in some sections, with thought bubbles, and the occasional doodle thrown in. I need to listen to music and watch my pen glide through every sharp edge, smooth swirl, crossed T and dotted I to the rhythm of my tunes. I need to note how my hand pushes heavier on the page when I’m listening to certain genres as opposed to others. I need to write my ‘y’ differently with every word. Sometimes it needs to be two straight lines. Sometimes it needs to be that loopy ‘y.’ Sometimes it needs some extra curvature at the end. I CANNOT EFFECTIVELY GET MY POINTS ACROSS WITHOUT MY Ys BEING DIFFERENT, DOES NO ONE UNDERSTAND MY AGONY.

Wow…uhm. Yeah, I don’t know. I decided to not edit this post.

So long tirade short, I couldn’t get my head in the game. So give me a moment with my long estranged paper and pen. I thought I could type up some greatness, but I’m not that cool. I’ll have some MIND BLOWING BLOG CONTENT for you next week. Until then.