Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Blank Slate

Just as, when I sit down to write, I start off with a totally blank screen across which various letters march dutifully in response to my fingers hitting the keys on the keyboard below, so it is when I realize that I need a topic for a blog for tomorrow. Too often, my mind is as blank as the screen.

Remember the now famous Miss America (or Miss Whatever) response to the question “Why can’t so many American children locate America on the map?” The fact that she was blonde had nothing to do with the fact that you could almost hear her mind slamming shut. However, though her mind was frozen shut, her mouth stepped in and took over. “Many American children don’t have maps” she began, thus taking the first tentative step onto the slippery slope into total chaos. I felt truly sorry for the poor thing, but oh, my, how I could identify with her.

I constantly (and to my constant embarrassment) allow my mouth to run off with my mind. But just as one cannot un-ring a bell, once a word trips over the tongue and out through the lips, there’s not a thing in the world that can bring it back in again.

My personal problem, which I have had for as long as I can that I am astoundingly lazy. I cannot remember things from one minute to the next not because I’m incapable of remembering, bur simply because I’m too lazy to pay attention to what I’m doing. I continually unlock my apartment door, walk in and go directly to my desk...a distance of twelve feet, maximum. By the time I sit down, I have somehow managed to lose my keys. I suppose I could take some sort of pride in it, but I don’t. My glasses and my glass case are never in the same place, much as I am absolutely positive they are. It is astonishing the number of places I can manage to lose things in a 400-square-foot apartment.

One day last winter, returning to my apartment after being outside in the cold, taking off my coat, and starting to put my hat, scarf, and gloves into one sleeve of the coat as I always do. Though I had them on less than five minutes before, I did not have my gloves. From the door to the closet where I hang my coat is a distance of eight feet, max. I later found the gloves between the front seats of my car. I don’t remember having been in my car on the day the gloves disappeared.

I once lost a cell phone on a trip to Mayo Clinic. I scoured that car from front to back, including opening the hood and kicking the tires. Lost. Gone forever. I bought a new phone. About a month later, while driving, I glanced to my right and there, between the seats, was my phone. It is to weep.

Yesterday, having stripped my bed to do the laundry, I decided to put on my spare set of sheets (I have two). It was gone. In fact, both sets were gone. Now, when I say my apartment is 400 square feet, I am not exaggerating. There simply is no place to misplace sets of sheets. I finally determined that, a week a so ago in a totally uncharacteristic fit of neatness, I did a mass washing of things I'd not worn for some time. Apparently, somewhere along the line, I either did not take a load out of the washer and put it in the drier, or put it in the drier and just left it there. In any event, I am now without two sets of sheets and God knows what all else. I won’t know exactly what else I lost until the time comes when I set out to look for it.

Not too long ago, I lost my keys yet again. Now, I have to have the keys to get into my apartment, so logic dictates they had to have been lost inside the apartment. Where inside the apartment is another matter entirely. I finally found them in the pocket of my bathrobe. Not a clue as to how they got there…I don’t go out of the apartment with my bathrobe on. Anyway, that is where they were.

And I must bring this to a halt. I just wanted to demonstrate yet again, dear friend, what happens when I sit down to the computer without an idea of what I am going to write. You have just read the result.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs ( ).

1 comment:

Kage Alan said...

Oh, D. If I'm sitting down in front of the laptop and someone calls, I inevitably take my glasses off sometime during the conversation and set them down somewhere else. Then, once I hang up, can't see to find out where the hell I left them.

I've even had to put my sunglasses on and several lights just to see if I can locate where I put them. Retracing my steps rarely seems to help.