You know that moment when you first wake up in the morning and dunno who or what you are?
Imagine how much worse it’d be waking from a coma. Sheeeiiit. I’m trying, but I don’t even know what I am at 5 A.M. when I open my eyes after a punctuated slumber. There’s not telling how much worse it’d be if I was waking up from an extended nap after getting hit with a falling piano or something. “Am I a mailbox? A mongoose? Am I… Matthew McConaughey?”
Yes, a famous naked hippie bongo player was as good an answer as any for Rory Curtis – a 25-year-old regular British dude who woke up thinking he was an American celeb whose drawl drops drawers. It took a bit after awaking from his car accident to look in the mirror and realize he lived in a mere commoner’s body. Then he quasi regained awareness of who he was.
(Not a troll, though. He could probably get famous after this story, unless his teeth-…
…Nevermind. That’s racist.)
But he didn’t fully regain self-awareness.
Because the really interesting part of this story isn’t about his Southern identity – but his French one. This is a fun phenomenon I’ve read and watched documentaries on, and also written about before – how our language centers (and potentially other creative genius areas) get altered after a head injury. While still recovering, for example, Curtis details he was speaking fluent French and acting kind of snotty to the people around him. Or, in his own words: “I was sitting there spouting a foreign language from my hospital bed acting all French in their sort of arrogant yet sophisticated way. It wasn’t me at all.”
I find that interesting – that last bit. “It wasn’t me at all.”
And maybe there’s a link between the MattMac and Frenchie identities here. I read somewhere that we assume different personalities when we speak different languages. And I’ve even felt the effects of that before – because you’re bringing in the entirely different culture from whence it came with it when you employ it. To speak a language intelligibly, you have to articulate it appropriately. And the way you articulate with your particular accent becomes part of your personality (can you imagine Matty with a Yankee accent?). So, if the two facets are that closely related – it makes me wonder if these two strange Malkovichian moments Curtis had are controlled by one center in our heads. I’m thinking yes, and the neuro-experts need to specify for me exactly where this Rosetta Stone dome section is located.
So I can clobber myself poly-lingual. And famous.