What Does Your Brain Look Like?

A long time ago, I asked a bunch of people a question authored by my bestest friend, KM: “What does your brain look like?”  I gave a few examples, from a few people:

KM, Special Education teacher: “My brain looks like a mediocre Christmas after you’ve opened all the presents and there’s wrapping papers and empty boxes everywhere and you didn’t get anything great.”

KS, Lady of Leisure: “My brain looks like an office with all rows of file cabinets and everything is neat, clean and organized.”

Me, Phenomenologist and Bibliotherapist: “My brain looks like the Wailing Wall –– a giant stone monolith representing centuries of loss with notes to God stuck in every crevice.”

The survey prompted some pretty hilarious and interesting answers.  Below are the best ones:

AM, Musician and Animation Artist: My Brain looks like the Strand Bookstore. There’s a shitload of useless and often inaccessible information but a great collection of art books and vintage porn.

SS, food writer: On days when I feel sad my brain looks like a steaming heap of chop suey. When I feel chipper, I think it looks like the string section of an orchestra playing Stars and Stripes–not because I’m overly patriotic but because fingers and bows would be moving frenetically. On fire

KH, business student: My brain looks like a cat playing with an ipad.

EC, Merchandise Manager/Buyer: [My brain] is pink and squishy and there are some lost socks floating around, and dates from my AP Euro History class about when the Defenestration of Prague was, and memories of the houses I lived in when I was a kid. There’s a brightly lit section in the front (with those lights around backstage makeup mirrors or marquees) where there are good ideas and funny jokes.  Then, of course, there’s a section at the bottom of my skull that looks very serious yet primitive that monitors my breathing and basic functions.

NZ, “glorified assistant/secretary”: Bright, bright sunshine and then two distinct area: cliffs (the kind that you walk out to the edge and there is only two feet of rock then hundreds of feet of nothingness, fields of wildflowers, mainly violets and daises… but the ground itself is always covered in thick, clean, kelly-green grass.

EA, Blogger/Web Designer: My brain looks like a cube that continues on into space ad infinitum, striving for clear corners, but realizing those oceans are vast.

SG, book editor: My brain looks like the tennis court complex on Randall’s Island. It’s a dome-like building with industrial barrenness creeping in on the edges. It contains anxious mothers, former almost-greats, and small children with fancy rackets, who really just want to go home and read a book until they fall asleep.

HS-D, writer: My brain is a family of subterranean ponds, tied together by rocky little rivers.

TV, film student: My brain looks like the bargain bin at small town department store. Mostly filled with crap, but if you dig around, might find something totally worth the $1.50 price-tag.

JF, marketing and advertising director: My brain is a refrigerator that hasn’t been cleaned out in a while.  There’s always fresh produce in there, but you’re just as likely to find expired foods that I should throw away (but I wont, because I keep convincing myself that I’ll eat them tomorrow).  Also, you’ll have a hard time finding whatever you’re looking for because it’s always in the back and there’s a bunch of junk food between you and the gourmet stuff.

MW-L, psychology student: My brain looks like an attic with items of all shapes and sizes draped in sheets.

My Dad, Managing Director of a bank (I think): I picture [my brain] as a small town in the midwest someplace. Different lights on a different times of the day until late at night where there is only 1 place open, but it is really happening.

LE, Energy-Related Product Developer: [My brain is] open fields, rainbows, and naked people running around singing a cappella. also, there’s probably some soccer being played.

IS, brother and art critic: The inside of my brain looks like a record player on fire sitting atop a coffee table on an empty central California coast beach on one side, and on the other a fluorescent-lit room with infinite rows of birch-wood tables disappearing into the orthogonal horizon with an infinite number of identical hardcover black books open atop these tables, in which typing manifests itself and subsequently erases itself after thirty seconds (the erasing trailing the writing by 500 words or so). Orderly but amnesiac on one side; radical, destructive, carnal and hedonistic on the other in a burning, naturalistic solitude.

SA, fashion buyer: [My brain is] a thunderstorm — steady rain with sporadic bolts of lightning.

EH, non-profit assistant: My brain looks like a vast outdoor green expanse with intermittent trees and misty air, and I get lost in the spaces between the trees.

LB, bartender and architectural preservationist: [My brain looks like] a vast ocean filled with creatures yet discovered and sunken ships long forgotten. Basically, it’s filled with a lot of facts and memories that I can’t recall and some things that are too strange for public consumption.

GB, composer: [My brain is] a very large clean rectangular room, bright yet warmly lit, high ceilings, hardwood floors, white walls. Floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides. No doors, nothing hanging on the walls, nothing in the room. Things manifest in the middle of the room as needed, and then disappear when I’m done with them. There’s a perpetual dusk-like luminescence, as if the day is always almost over.

PO, drummer and my actual brother: My brain looks like veal – purposely stunted.

DC, copywriter: My brain looks like the ball pit at a children’s play place, but not the one at McDonalds. Also, there’s pizza.

MZ-H, Business Development for Sustainable Energy: [My brain] looks like a vintage 1970s psychedelic floral polyester shirt. The seams and the pattern are intact.  The colors, though vivid, are starting to starting run.

EK, Junior Specialist at an Art Auction House: I feel like my brain looks like the Wall Street trading floor, about 15 minutes after the closing bell has rung, with pieces of paper scrawled with words like “coffee” and “sugar” scattered like confetti on the floor.

GS, Assistant to a Cultural Attache: My brain is a witch’s cauldron or a magic hat  –– I pull things out but I have no idea what’s really going on there… images appear when conjured and sometimes, if I add the right amount of newt eye and chant magic words, I gain insight.


One Response to “What Does Your Brain Look Like?”

  1. What Does Your Brain Look Like, Yayoi? « Itinerantdaughter's Blog Says:

    […] In the latest issue of Bullett magazine, my friend HG interviews Yayoi Kusama (“Don’t be too jealous –– it was just an email interview”) and asks the all important question: what does your brain look like?  For the record, Yayoi’s answer isn’t nearly as good as the answers of my participants, found here. […]

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