Parting Glances: The mind boggles

By |2018-01-16T10:47:51-05:00July 13th, 2006|Opinions|

A recent Canadian study finds there’s indication that boys born into families of older brothers — presumably straight and butch — statistically are often likely to be gay.
As an only child, I can’t say I’m queer either by default of brotherly love or statistically by non-acquired butchness or too-tight designer genes.
At 13 I did diddle with brothers living down the block from me; and looking back I’ll admit — with only short-circuited thoughts now sustaining my low-voltage, AAA battery-driven memory bank — I think I enjoyed myself, and probably with no trace of sibling rivalry.
Maybe I became queer by proxy. Something from the aforementioned, secretly agreeable and not unreasonably eager partners my age, Bobby and Donny, rubbed off on me. But I’m sure my gaiety started much earlier than that — say, at age three when I fell out of a too-hastily-jockeyed A&P shopping cart and crashed my tousled head on a stack of Del Monte cocktail fruit cans — jarring my brain just enough to last the rest of my long, long, not-too-banged-up (or down) gay life.
Contrary to what the biblical boob-ocrats insist on telling everybody, I didn’t draw straws to be gay. Nor did I have a choice in the matter. Straight wiring wasn’t there to connect my boy-meets-girl neurons to my man-weds-wife dendrites. God knows my synapses must have blown a fuse and my axons somehow petered out — but my gray matter brightened up to a delightful shade of House Beautiful lavender.
The three-pound universe we call our brain is a marvel beyond human belief (and it’s quite unbelievable how some politicians misuse it). There are 23 billion brain cells operating, and in my case at least one in every 100,000 is more than likely suspect.
Sometime ago I read a book of anomalies, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” (a mean feat by any stretch of vivid imagination). The psychiatrist/author tells of a guy who as the result of a well-placed bop on the cranium was mentally stuck for good in the year 1948.
The poor guy, living well into the 1960s, when asked who was president would answer Harry S Truman. When asked what team won the World Series, would say Cleveland Indians, four games over the Boston Braves, two. This guy, who had only an outdated 1948 mental matrix, couldn’t figure out why the faces of his siblings and friends kept changing over the years.
A current issue of Scientific American MIND features a fascinating article about savant Kim Peek, the inspiration for the film “Rain Man.” The 49-year-old, soft-spoken evolutionary odd-man-out, while unable to lace his shoes or add two and two making four, has committed to total recall — by cellular photographic osmosis — over 9,000 books! (Hopefully including Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 541.”)
Last week’s New Yorker carries an article about a surgical procedure (with a startling MRI scan photo) called a hemispherectomy, the removal of either the right or the left brain hemisphere. The 2005 nine-hour operation was successfully performed on a two-year-old Lacy Nissley to stop her reoccurring seizures, as many as 40 a day.
It’s titled, “The Deepest Cut: How can someone live with only half a brain?” Answer: They can and quite often do.
Come to think of it — frightening to contemplate — there are thousands upon thousands busy bodying around these days who are totally empty headed or brain dead. Some think it’s 5004 BC. Some are convinced it its 1950 AD. Heaven help them. They havenÕt a GD clue.

About the Author:

Charles Alexander