My brain is a remarkable instrument. It is designed to solve problems, and it is constantly working. Even if I have nothing to do, it is processing data about politics or religion or technology or history or anything.
My brain can split into two independently operating consciousnesses. One can then work on something while the other keeps me interacting with the world around me (if you sometimes wonder why I ask you to repeat yourself or explain something again, it's because you caught me at a moment when my brain does that and you've said something that I need the extra processing power to work on. It's not that I wasn't paying attention, it's just I need to refocus). But there are times when the problem is so huge, the ramifications are so encompassing, that I have to focus every last bit of processing power I have on the problem, what can fix it, what will result from the fix, will that need fixing, and so on.
And when that happens, when I'm really thinking hard, my right hand will flex its fingers like it's holding a cigarette.
I don't know where this came from. I'm not a smoker. I've never smoked. I've never even tried it. My dad was a smoker, but he quit when I was something like twelve, and he refused to even let me have candy cigarettes for fear of me taking up the habit to be "just like daddy" (he didn't have to worry about the candy cigarettes. I tried one, and to this day, I'm not entirely sure that wasn't just a piece of chalk). And yet, a few years ago, as I started really putting pressure on myself to make my writing a hit, I noticed that my hand would do that. I don't know when it started, just that I started noticing it. I'll be sitting in the tub, soaking and thinking, and I'll be hit with the urge to take a loooooooooong drag from a cigarette. My hand will take up that position like it is holding one, and sometimes I'll either have the urge to bring my hand up to my mouth like that, or unconscious action will at least start my hand moving in that direction. And it's always when my brain shifts into overdrive. (Strangely, it's never after sex, which I would think would also be likely.)
As someone who believes in reincarnation, I regard this as personal proof that it is real. I was born in 1971, so that would put my last lifetime in an era when smoking was considered healthy and sociable. And given my mindset, I probably had some sort of high pressure job. And it's a latent memory that made it over to this lifetime, turning up when the candle started burning at both ends.
Not that I say this is absolute proof or anything like that. It's just something odd that strikes me at times like this.
Oh, well. Enough rumination. Back to work.