A neurologist of my casual acquaintance phones me up one morning and tells me that there is a small part of my brain which requires urgent attention. I have not had any contact with him in months – how does he know the inside of my head better than I do? I hate him for it. He tells me to sit very still and await instruction, and I consider responding with some sarcastic jibe but in the end just do as he says. When he finally calls back it is only to tell me that he was mistaken and it was all based on something he had dreamt. I curse him and get on with my day.
I forget the episode until one day, whilst on a long-haul flight home, I appear to lose my mind completely. The first half of the flight passes peacefully as I snooze in my seat and dream nineteen pleasant chocolate box dreams. It is only when I awake again for a plastic cup of apple juice thousands of feet up in the air that I realise I cannot remember who I am, or where or what I am doing. For a few hours I am nowhere and nothing. When the plane lands, the flight attendants have to help me off and then sit me down in baggage reclaim. I sit and try to think and wonder how I will ever work out which bag is mine.
Some off-screen drama has caused the conveyor belt in reclaim to malfunction and so the baggage handlers have had to stand suitcases and bags all over the floor of the hall. It resembles a scene in which everyone has abandoned their belongings for a better life. I consider opening random bags and looking inside but realise that I am unlikely to recognise my belongings even if I happen to open the right case. So I just sit and wait.
Eventually a member of staff fetches me to answer a phone call which I later find out to be from the neurologist. It is an uneventful phone call as I have nothing to report. The neurologist drives to the airport to collect me and then apologises to me profusely as he takes me home.
Sometime later, when I am fixed, the neurologist and I go to the park together. Whilst he practices his martial arts, I set about eating ten packets of assorted biscuits for what might be lunch or the starter of an evening meal or even breakfast dessert. By the seventh packet I feel sick. There is a wide array of human life on show at the park, all following various pursuits which they may or may not regret later on.
The neurologist is practicing his kicking with some small children. He spins around a number of times and then delivers kicks to their heads, removing them clean off their shoulders and sending them bouncing across the grass. Once he has kicked the heads off all the children he collects them up off the grass and fixes them back on before setting up to start again. I watch and struggle through the ninth packet and wonder why we do these things we do.