Dictionary Challenge Week 19: The Derailing Thought Train

I have a fairly active imagination and it doesn’t take much to trigger a complete detour from the information I am presented with.

Just moments ago I read eyebrow. We all know what it is, but you don’t think about it. So when I read the definition and am matter-of-factly told that it is “the line, usually arched, of short hair growing along the ridge above each eye socket” it’s not anything particularly striking. But just the way it’s worded makes me picture it like a hairy caterpillar crawling along a ridge. And then I think why do we have this line of hair so distinctly placed crawling across our faces, basically in the middle of nowhere.

Because it is weird when you think about it. Humans are pretty bald. Even the hair on our head is weird. Most hairy animals are close to fully covered, but then we come along with our tuft of hair on our heads… and a few other places. Which then makes me think about evolution and how we came from apes and were once fully covered in hair. And so really humans are like a hairless cat. Kind of gross.

You know what I mean. Whether you like them or not, you have to admit hairless cats are pretty darn freaky looking. So then I think about how every human is actually freaky looking because we are the hairless cat of the apes and I get to wondering just what was it that caused mankind to procreate in the first place when we were all – technically – so ugly?

And then I curse beHairless Catcause all that nonsense wasted 5 minutes of my time, just like it did yours. And we all know it’s not a person’s looks – it’s their personality.

So I turn back to The Behemoth and dive in again: Extra sensory perception – the supposed ability to perceive outside, past, or future events without the use of known senses (ESP). At first glance, I completely get why it is the “supposed” ability, but then I wonder why in the second sense of the word eternity meaning “the condition into which the soul enters at death; the afterlife” there is no supposition. Neither is there one with the second sense of epiphany meaning “a manifestation of a god or demigod.” And all of a sudden I’m trapped in an existential (of or relating to existence) moment and I just want to stop thinking so I can read the next word…

Erase. Meaning “rub out or obliterate (something written, typed, drawn)”

Which is what I want to do with all the extraneous (irrelevant, unnecessary, or not part of the matter at hand) thoughts that come along with each word. Like how reading the entry for erase made me picture a person’s pencil spitting out cannonballs of fire as they obliterated that horrible sentence they just wrote about eyebrows. Maybe that example was more personally situational… Either way, I love this definition. I will never erase the same way again – I will obliterate!

But you see what this is like, don’t you? I read about 35 words every 10 minutes. Well, so long as my incessant imagination doesn’t intrude and cause me to spiral out of control into existential daydreams and ponderings on every single little thing. When each entry is a bite-sized little stand-alone nugget it’s hard not to, because otherwise I’m not really engaging with what I’m reading. Which I’m guilty of as well. Some words slip by and I realize that my mind has been elsewhere thinking about hairless apes and I have no idea what I just read. This can continue until something major happens to pull me out of my reverie. Something big. Something great. Something awesome.

Like the word empurple, meaning “make purple or red” and “make angry”. This time you have got to be picturing that heavier set guy with a chip on his shoulder reaming out some zit-faced kid behind a cashier’s counter as his anger causes his face to empurple in a terrifying yet impressive way. If you weren’t, you are now anyways.

On that note, I am going to leave things for this week. Tomorrow I start on the letter F. I’m about 30% of the way through The Behemoth and just over 140 pages behind in finishing it by the end of one year’s time.

If you’d like me to share more words or more on the experience, just drop me a line! You can find me on Facebook or Twitter.

Week 19 Stats

Starting Word: empty calorie                   Ending Word: Ezra

Total Pages: 529/1815                                Ahead/Behind: – 141 pages

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