The Painted Mind
by Nathaniel Tower
The moment my
head hits the pillow, my mind becomes a vibrant
canvas filled with such vivid colors that any
Impressionist artist would put up the brush
forever and piss all over their work. Painters of
other genres would likely do the same.
Most of the
day that canvas is blank. The moment the sun
rises and paints its own canvas, my head raises
off that pillow and all of my thoughts cease.
I want to see
the color during the day, but it only comes to me
at night, numerous shades and tints swirling
throughout my mind, slowly driving me insane,
rendering me sleepless yet tired. The last part
spills over into the day where like a zombie I
must walk until it is again time for me to lay my
head upon that pillow.
clockwork, the moment the head hits, everything
comes rushing back, and though I am tired, sleep
just will not come. There are too many other
occupants to let the sleep enter.
One day, I
became tired of my tiredness and decided to clean
that canvas. The only way I know to enter my mind
is through the ear. My first plan was to wash
that canvas clean, so I went into the shower as
soon as the thoughts started swirling and titled
my head to allow all the water to run in my left
ear. Then I turned my head over and let all the
water flow into the right one. After drying off,
I went back to bed. As soon as my head hit the
pillow, all of the thoughts had returned. Water
I wasn't about
to try turpentine or any other harmful liquid in
my ear, so I decided to do the only other thing I
could think of that eliminated markings from
paper. While my head was still on the pillow,
those unpleasant thoughts swirling around, I
reached to my nightstand for a pencil and jammed
the eraser end as far into my ear as I could.
Once it was in there, I ignored the pain and
shook my hand violently in all directions until I
was sure I had erased everything that had ever
been there. It was the best sleep I have ever had.
I sleep well
these days, but sometimes I wish that some
thoughts would re-enter my head, day or night.