We sit on a concrete bench and wait for the MARTA train that will take us to the Atlanta airport. David pulls out his iPad and begins reading a math paper. I keep my eyes focused on the tracks, trying to suppress the onslaught of questions that arises every time I travel. Did we lock the door? Is the oven off? Was the fridge closed? What about the dryer? Were all the lights off? Was the toilet running? Maybe I left the sink on. What if I left the sink on? What if we miss our flight? Where’s the train?
I worry. David reads. And is often the case when my mind becomes mired in anxious thoughts, I turn to him and say, “Why can’t I be you?”
I wouldn’t want to be David forever. I like being me for the most part. But I do believe that spending a little bit of time in David’s brain could provide me with some much needed respite. My brain could take a break from churning cognitive distortions, and I could search out the secret to David’s equanimity so I could reproduce it in my own mind when I returned to my body.
Beyond the potential for a mental health break, I’d like to vacation inside David’s mind so I could figure out what it’s like to be a man. Think of how that could improve my writing! And, for a short period of time, I would know a ton of stuff about math and be able to appreciate it in the same way that he does. That would be cool.
I realize a vacation in David’s mind isn’t without risks. I tend to idolize him and being exposed to his baser thoughts might temper my admiration in a way that could harm our marriage. I’d like to think I’d be cool with his fantasies about other women, but I probably wouldn’t be. Most importantly, though, I probably don’t want to know what he really thinks when I ask him to unlock the front door just one more time so I can check to make sure I haven’t left the sink on.
I probably don’t want to know that, but I might take my chances if mind vacations were an option. It’d be so nice to have a break.
Whose mind would you vacation in?