I was making my weekly trip to the grocery store and thinking about how I might market Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box when I looked up, amazed to see that I was half-way to ballet class. Now I dance (badly) three times a week and try to go to the grocery store only once a week, so this lapse in focus wasn’t really SO bad. I think. I hope. I mean, left turn, right turn, really what’s so much the difference?
I’ve been absent-minded my entire life. As a kid, I’d be walking home from somewhere, playing a make-believe game in my head and realize by the strange look from a passer-by that not only had I been talking out loud, but I was a mile closer to our house then the last time I’d looked. In high school, I developed a rigid system for organizing my notebook because otherwise I couldn’t find my homework when it came time to turn it in. Or my notes when it was time to study for a test. Things did not improve as I aged. As a teacher, I’d frantically mark my attendance book as the students filed out of class because I’d forgotten to do it at the beginning. (And when do you have time to take attendance anyway? It’s ridiculous.) Of course I do all the regular absent-minded things: go into a room and forget why, forget my friends’ names, call someone up to tell them . . . hmmm.
But here’s my question. When I spend so much time up in my day-dreamy head, why is it I remember that you serve a guest from the left and remove from the right? I can recall exact lines from the original Start Trek. I’ve got the names of obscure children’s books at my fingertips. (The Moomin series, did you like that one? The Back of the North Wind, another goodie.)
My Dad, who was perfect in every other way, was terribly absent-minded, to the point of which he couldn’t remember how old I was. I’m not quite sure if that gives me heart or is the bonging knell of doom. Most days I’m glad to know that I am like my Dad in any way at all. On the days I’m headed to the grocery store and find myself five miles in the opposite direction, well, on those days, I just remember how much I loved him.