What does my brain look like? And other questions I asked my MRI today
Today my thoughts were penetrated. My inner workings were laid bare and every electric flicker of imagination, thought and emotion was known by another.
Today I had an MRI.
Recently, I’ve been a little wobbly, they assure me it’s nothing but just to be sure Doc ordered an MRI. Never had one before. Now I have. And can I say that it was some freaky shit.
I have always had a compulsion to make medical professionals giggle. I like to feel as though we are on the same team.
Humour is my equaliser. So I said those exact words when I slid out afterwards like a limp electric eel; “That’s some freaky shit.”
She looked at me uncomfortably and commented on my pedicure, so upon reflection, my comments may have been somewhat inappropriate.
Apart from trying to make the doctors giggle (trust me EVERY medical procedure is better with a joke) I also found myself confronting this unique experience as a conversation.
Half an hour without moving in a toothpaste tube of probing electrons is the perfect condition for a little one on one with yours truly.
Not too far in though, I realised that I’ve actually had a lot of conversations with myself. To tell you the truth 99.9 percent of my dialogue is that of the inward variety.
So I decided to chat with the next best thing. My MRI.
I started with a biggie.
What does my brain look like?
Is my brain like a freshly roasted and sliced beetroot? Does it bleed delicate red through layers of sweet flesh? Would your fingers stain with its powerful imprint?
Would you get it on you in messy splendor or would you need to wear gloves like I do whenever peeling roasted beetroot? Would it slice just as easily? Is that what you’re doing right now Mr MRI?
Are you slicing through me?
Is my brain like a psychedelic kaleidoscope of florid colour?
Just for you, for a treat, I’m going to recite some Shakespeare. Sonnet 16 for starters.
When I get to these lines: “To give away yourself, keeps yourself still” I know that that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m giving away myself to you MRI. And I’m doing it with Shakespeare.
Which side of my brain is firing right now MRI, with all of that delicious Shakespeare swirling in ancient currents through my neurons? Are you enjoying the show?
I’m imagining that it looks pretty right now, more colourful, perhaps even a little like a miniature fireworks show with delicate crystalline explosions.
Now I’m going to remember a poem that I wrote about pain. Are the colours deepening? I can imagine a magic to them now, because I’m really feeling this stuff.
Perhaps the words are swirling like those mesmerising silk ribbons on the end of batons that leggy gymnasts trail behind them?
I’m getting towards the end of the poem now, I can see a gymnast in every corner and all of their trailing ribbons are sliding in silky abandon right in the middle. They’re making a swooshing sound. That must be a great thing for you to see.
You’re getting quite persistent now. The zapping and zinging and deep beat of your inner workings are right inside my brain. They’re scanning, probing; they’re in the inky abyss.
Ok, they told me to go to a ‘happy place’ so that’s what I’ll do now that I’ve finished with the poetry.
If it’s a happy place there has to be cocktails and there has to be a beach, so I’ll go to the last place I was experiencing that. Ooooh Bali, sweet Bali. I’m on a bean bag on the sand right now.
I’m pretending that your syncopated drone is a beach band playing some chill out tunes.
What do you see now MRI? Now that I’m in a happy place? On this day my blood was saturated with honey-sweet anticipation and joy.
I imagine that my brain is almost yellow now. Does it look like a field of long grass spun with the golden threads of afternoon glow? Are my thoughts whispering over the grassy fields in undulating currents?
I can hear the rush of happiness like a low-swooping swallow.
You really are getting to know me quite well. I hope you like me. I hope that you see good stuff.
Where does my kindness sit? I like that about me. My kindness. Maybe it’s in the form of young girl on a swing in a soft place in there. She would definitely be wearing white and she might be singing.
She would say hi, when you passed her with your electric searchlight. She’s like that.
There are a few other corners that you may want to avoid. There’s an ugly little dude who looks like a contorted leprechaun, and he’s got a bag of doubt that he sows every now and then. Deadly seeds of doubt.
Just ignore him. I have been. He’s not worth it and seeds don’t grow without sunlight so I’d prefer if you don’t glare at him for too long.
We are about twenty minutes in now Mr MRI.
I’d imagine there are a few parts that you’re seeing right now that even I haven’t.
What do those bits look like? Obviously I don’t know so I’m relying on you but I imagine that it’s a little like that film ‘The Abyss’. You know the one?
Well if you haven’t seen it, it’s a film about the darkest parts of the ocean’s depths. You have to really suit up in some pretty high-tech gear to get there and blind, translucent amphibians slide around in inky darkness.
Perhaps that’s where some special thoughts are brooding. Inventions? Great novels? I’d like to think they’re just safely hibernating and ready to pop to the surface one day when they get hungry.
Surely that’s half an hour now? MRI? Can you hear me? I reckon I’m just about ready to say goodbye now. I’m glad that I chose to chat instead of let myself get carried away with the scary ‘gosh this is violating’ path I could have walked down. Yes, I think that cooperating was the best choice in this scenario.
I hope that I’ve convinced you that I’m not just grey matter. No I’m swirling gymnasts, grassy fields and fireworks. I’m little girls on swings and deep oceans of untapped genius. I’m yellow and red and purple. I’m a green leprechaun of doubt. I’m every single beautiful word that I’ve read and written.
My brain is pretty special actually, so I’m hoping that all is well in there.
It was nice to meet you. They’re sliding me out now and I’m about to make an inappropriate joke.
But I reckon you probably knew that.