Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brain Itches

I get brain itches.  My brain doesn't physically itch, but it does, in a way, itch sometimes.  And it's really hard to scratch or rub or get to stop itching.  It doesn't often just go away on its own.  The itches must be scratched.

I don't really know how to describe what these itches are other than compulsions or really motivating desires or something that makes me want to, need to do something.  And they're not like hunger or thirst that can be satiated in one or two moments.  They're not like a disorder either.  The itches are generally rational, normal thoughts, wonders really, that have to be expressed.

I had an itch to learn about corsets recently.  The itch came about because I had been watching The Forsyte Saga on Netflix.  Logical connection, right?  I think so.  The costumes were beautiful, and the whole idea of corsets is foreign to me, so somewhere in my brain an itch started.  I spent about three days devouring every source of online information I could find about corsets.  I learned about boning and busks, about corset construction through the years, about shape and function.  I found patterns and suggestions.  I even researched places to get corsets near where I live, but that was grasping at straws.  I didn't make a corset myself, and I didn't spend any money on the learning process.  It's all knowledge stuck in my head now.

I did the same exact thing for a few days after I read an interesting article about hats.  I'm not an expert now, but I have random bits of hat trivia floating around my noggin.

This last weekend was a Gabriel Macht itch.  He's an actor, a rather good-looking one in my book, and I've been a fan for years.  I rewatched the entire first season of Suits, then set out to find what else he'd been in over the last decade since I sort of lost track of him after Behind Enemy Lines.  He's done some pretty awesome stuff, and some not-so-great work (but I think that was the writing, not the acting).  As soon as one movie would end, I'd queue up the next without missing a beat.  I ate, crafted, and dozed through movie after movie in the last two weeks.

It's not an obsession.  These itches usually die within a week.  I don't need to scratch the itch to survive.  But sometimes I really, really want to.  I want to learn more, I want to learn about something as fast as possible, to consume knowledge and remember it.  That assimilation of information is so empowering to me.  I like the itches.  I like that moment, hunkered down, fully engrossed in learning something new, watching something unfold.  It's like one more tiny bit of the world becomes mine.

I have no way of knowing what the next itch will be or when it will happen, but I am glad when they happen.

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