Today my brain stopped working, albeit momentarily. I had just finished work and was sitting on the bus home when I decided to send a text message – texting a friend an uncertain answer to a simple question but, this is important, I was also thinking about how I needed to wash some clothes when I got back to the flat. It was the cumulative effect of these factors which led me to type “I’m not shirt” into my phone instead of the far more conventional “I’m not sure.” Luckily I did not press send.
This got me worried. How can a brain just break? Admittedly, this slip up didn’t cause me any problems, but it easily could have. Imagine what would happen to me if I’d been wrongly accused of murder. I’m in court, hearing the ‘evidence’ against me and I can’t help but smile smugly. I know I didn’t do it. I’m thinking about how I’ve never killed anybody in my life, let alone the victim in this sham of a trial. And that’s when it happens, my brain makes another mistake. I scribble a note on some legal documents – I mean to write “I’m not sure” but what comes out is “I’m not INNOCENT” – a simple switch between two simultaneous thoughts. The Judge glances over, reads my accidental confession and before you know it I’m jailed for life while a murderer roams the streets of Britain. God, I can see this happening. Thanks brain.
I don’t understand how something so incredibly complicated like the human brain can make such elementary mistakes. It scares me. I’ve spent my whole life trusting every part of my body, but now I’m starting to think that might have been a mistake. Every day I’m getting older and with that the chances of any part of my body betraying me are only getting bigger – cancer, heart disease, baldness, they’re all ways in which my own body can screw me over. All I can do to defend myself is just to be more cautious in every way – from now on I’ll reread everything I write twice, I’ll eat more healthily and I definitely won’t be smoking. This is the only chance I’ve got of winning the war on my own body. Will it work? I’m just not shirt.