Kicked in the Head

Tuesday, February 10 2004

I’m still puzzled by what I saw at Rose’s this evening. To my immediate left sat a young couple, maybe late teens, early twenties. The girl said “So what are we going to do about this situation?” and then both proceeded to have a staring contest. For nearly two minutes without blinking. In a staring contest, two minutes is an eternity.

When the contest stopped, they chit chatted about other things not so interesting, but then I again noticed that a staring contest was in full force. Thinking that two staring contests back to back was too bizarre, I settled on another theory: narcoleptics. These people must have met at some narcoleptic support group, and have been spending so much time together that their narcoleptic fits are synchronized. Right as they’re taking a bite of ham on pumpernickle, zonk, they’re in a trance. Two minutes later, all is back to normal.

I wouldn’t settle so easily on this theory had I not known a friend who would do similar things. It’s kind of weird, really, in junior high I had a friend who was really into skateboarding. Destined to be a great. This kid was a rough kid too, strong as an ox and would frequently beat up other kids for sport. In one of those sporting events, he got kicked in the head very hard. Ended up with permanent brain damage. From that moment on, two things changed in my friend. He became a cowboy. Overnight, he’d gone from wearing Vision Streetwear to a cowboy boots, in Huntington Beach (Surf City USA dudes). And, more curiously, he’d clinically die every so often.

Really, all of his body functions would stop for about two or three minutes quite randomly. You’d be asking him how his day of cleaning stalls had gone, and he’d be saying “I helped shoe six [zonk]” and he was silent, quiet as a mouse for two minutes then “horses and swept somethin’ like twenty stalls.” The first time it happened, his parents called 911, and before the ambulance got there he was perfectly fine. By the fifth or sixth time they stopped worrying about it, and if anyone witnessed it for the first time, there was always someone there to explain that he’d been kicked in the head.