(Happy Birthday, CCT!)
Recently, I excused myself from the computer to pick up my daughter from school while mentally lingering at the Windsor chair in front of the keyboard. Backing out of the driveway, I drove down the street, turned right and stopped at a red light. Advancing on green I continued, over the ridge, past yellow “school zone” signs and the gentle rise leading up to the long brick high school--where apparently, my daughter stood, her mouth forming a wide O, as I zipped by.
By the time I arrived at a stop sign about a half mile down the road, I grasped that I had sailed past the school without noticing, and turned myself around. Crossing my fingers that my daughter hadn’t seen me, one look at a teenage smirk accompanied by her wrinkled brow clued me in that I was bagged. “Mom,” she said, “you didn’t just drive by, you sped by!” We howled until tears flowed at what she called my “senior moment,” but what I know was something else.
That was bad, but today was almost worse. My walking buddy and I finished our jaunt, after which we planned to meet up for coffee. She took the lead in her car, and I bumped along behind in my jeep, past granite walls and blond grass waving in unmowed fields, over a causeway ribboning through high tide marshes, until she disappeared. Though, of course, she didn’t. I had once again drifted away from my car while contemplating a piece I am struggling to write and failed to observe that she had moved far ahead.
This unnerved me. My rational mind knew she had accelerated out of sight, yet because I had stepped away from consciousness, if you will; when I came to, it was as if she had vaporized--a rabbit lost in a magician’s hat. After an anxious moment in which I contemplated whether she had driven into the marsh, I caught up to her. When I owned up to my lapse in concentration, she asked “Didn’t you see the two trucks that cut between us before the construction zone?” “Hmm…Let me think. Trucks?”
Since I began spending a significant portion of my day writing, these mental hiccups are on the increase. In the shower the other day, when the words ricocheted like the spray against fiberglass walls, and I conditioned my hair before washing, I wondered if all writers travel without going anywhere.
Do people who are, say, a tad more rational, accountants and lawyers, doctors and the like, stay rooted in cement blocks of the here and now while writers climb into cerebral hot air balloons to rise on capricious winds of imagination?
Is this just me, or do all writers drive by their daughters while immersed in words and phrases? Do the especially good ones crash their cars along the way? Don't get me wrong. I love being engaged in this regard, but it has me wondering if additional auto insurance may be necessary.
Um, you will be kind and let me know if instead, I need to investigate Alzheimer’s units, right?
Are you able to disconnect your writing brain and return to bricks and mortar reality, or do you sometimes float, like me?