The strange and curious impulses of an addled mind

Donna P. Crilly

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We were at one of those journalism conferences at California State Fullerton. All the usual suspects were with me: Vanessa, Editor-in-Chief (I call her Chiefy); Ernesto, the news editor and and a few more conduits of City College news and all things related.
We were coordinating who was doing what, going where and when. I ended up writing an on-the-spot feature profile story of a 1970s sitcom actress turned author and inspirational drama teacher.
She was reading excerpts from her autobiographical book and regurgitating her childhood struggles with anorexia. As I sat in the hollow auditorium, pen scratching quotes onto my reporter’s notepad, eyes twitching from boredom, a sudden urge came over me. I wanted to run up and tackle her – full force, like Bobby Boucher from “The Waterboy.” Not because I was angry with her, (she was quite nice) but because my impulses were tormenting me to pull a ridiculous stunt.
Have you ever sat idle and suddenly had a thought or an urge that you couldn’t control mentally and had to physically stop yourself from doing
Take old people for instance, you see an old couple crossing the street. Their feet are shuffling along and awww, aren’t they cute? Then suddenly, WHAM! You imagine yourself tackling their wrinkled little bodies just because you can…but you don’t. I don’t, nor do I scheme to. Sometimes, I just get those random, nonsensical urges.
Yes my friends, these are the strange and curious impulses of the examined mind. If you were thinking that there must be something terribly wrong with your psyche for dreaming up such abominable deeds, you are mistaken. Don’t go home and ring your neighborhood shrink just yet.
There have been times when I’ll be talking to someone and wondered what would happen if I slapped him/her in the face while he/she was in mid-sentence. There have been other times when I’ll be walking alongside a student on crutches and considered kicking them from under him/her. This is not because I’m mean, it’s because I can’t help the thought crossing my mind at least once.
Sometimes, when I’m on the freeway and the traffic is a bumper-to-bumper mass huddle of Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas, I’ve thought about ramming my car into the vehicle in front of me for no reason at all. I’ve also thought about putting my car in park and leaving it there. “See ya, car,” I’d say to myself.
Other times, I’ll wake up, grab my backpack and keys, hop on the freeway and wonder what would happen if I just keep driving South on the 5 and not come back. “See ya, school.”
When I’m at work, pulling espresso shots, steaming milk and blending cold beverages, I sometimes consider throwing a frappucino against the wall. I make up the horrid reactions on patrons’ faces and snicker to myself. I’m just glad that I haven’t slapped your best friend’s grandma while she’s sewing her grandson’s Halloween costume.

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