It was March 2020 and my brain had a lot to say.
Brain: [running frantically back and forth] COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID!
Brain: [more running] COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID!
Me: Brain, could you please stop for a moment?
Brain: [still running] COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID! COVID!
Me: OI, BRAIN!!
Brain: [slightly breathless from all the running and yelling] Sorry, did you want something? It’s just I’m extremely busy right at present.
Me: I see that, and that’s actually what we need to talk about. All this yelling and running are kind of becoming a problem.
Brain: I don’t see how that could be true. I checked my Brain Guidelines under "Special Alarm Circumstances,: and it definitely says, "In a situation of sudden extreme threat, yell very loudly to alert the rest of the tribe while running far, far away."
Me: I know, Brain. I checked the guidelines too.
Brain: And I realize that at the moment I’m only running back and forth and only yelling at you, but given that you told me we must to stay in the apartment and not socialize with others at present, I don’t really see how else I could interpret those guidelines.
Me: Totally. I get it.
Brain: So what could possibly be the problem?
Me: The thing is, Brain, I’m not sure this is a sudden threat-to-life situation right at this moment.
Brain: [taken aback] Now I know you think I’m full of unhelpful advice more suited to prehistoric existence, and most of the time I manage not to take offense how silly you find me--
Me: And I appreciate that.
Brain: --but is this not exactly the sort of instance circumstance in which you assured me I would be given a free hand?
Me: What do you mean?
Brain: Those many discussions we had, when I would say, ‘IT’S A TIGER, WE MUST YELL WHILE RUNNING AWAY’ and you would say, ‘No, it’s my head of department and we don’t need to run, we just need to finish this email’. I distinctly remember you reassuring me that when it was an ACTUAL tiger, I would be in charge of making sure we immediately adopted the yelling and running away protocol.
Me: You are totally right. I did say that, and I am absolutely going to keep my word. The thing is, though, Brain, that while there are some dangers at the moment, they still aren’t really the tiger kind. They’re more a wait-and-see kind of thing. And most of the time, they’re not things that require much action right now, beyond being conscious and present and thoughtful.
Brain: But those aren’t really in my skill set.
Me: No, that’s true.
Brain: [long pause] This seems quite odd. Once I saw what you were reading on The Twitter Page or whatever you call it, I was sure this was a Special Alarm Circumstances situation. Are you absolutely certain we shouldn’t be doing the running and yelling?
Me: I’m sure. For one thing, we know that when there’s a tiger, we run away and then we are AWAY from the tiger, right?
Brain: As far as I understand it, yes, that is the procedure.
Me: Well, have we gotten any father from this situation, with all the running and yelling you’ve been doing?
Brain: No, we’re definitely still in the apartment.
Me: So can we agree for the moment to take a break from the running and yelling?
Brain: I suppose so. I must admit, I feel a bit foolish now.
Me: Don’t feel bad. We’re all just figuring this out. But, Brain…do you really mind when I say you are more suited to cave-person type dilemmas? You know I don't mean it harshly.
Brain: I don’t actually mind. I was just upset.
Me: That’s great. I’m glad you’re not mad, because you know what I got that we both like? ICE CREAM!!
Brain: Oh jolly good! Is it cookie dough?
Me: But of course!