Easy Living in the Past

Write.  Write it down.  That thought has been nagging me for a few days now so I decided that today, Saturday at 4 pm, that’s what I’d do.

I started composing my essay in my mind.  Standing in the kitchen, tossing a Trader Joe’s salad set to expire today, had all these heady ideas — and now that I am seated in front of a keyboard, they’ve moved on without me.

A random street in Guilderland….

The themes: memories, memoirs, not living in the past even though I seem to be inhabiting those ghost towns in my mind’s eye much of the day.  Sort of like that Twilight Zone episode, where the character wakes up in a world without any people, as if they were there moments ago and all disappear.  That’s living in the past, in your mind…. but there are glimpses of people though; phantoms, ghosts …. but those ghosts, like dreams, feel real when you’re with them.

And they arrive unbidden.  Composing an email for work yesterday, I was transported to late summer day a few years ago, driving my mother in her Honda through the back roads between Albany and Schenectady.  We’d gone to do an errand in Colonie, and I wanted to take the scenic route home.  But she didn’t.  While other times she had been a sport about taking a little country drive, on this day, she just said, “No, I want to go home.  I’m old.  I want my own bathroom.  I want to sit in the kitchen.  Thanks but no thanks, please turn around.  But stop at a restroom first.”  

 So we pulled into a nearby strip mall somewhere out near Guilderland.  Guilderland – what a name.  Land of Guild…ers.   A boy I once had a big crush on was from there.  Guilderland.  Was I even then on a mind trip to the past, driving her through a ghost town of an unrequited crush?  A dream within a dream, this flashback of mine.   

Suddenly yanked back into the here and now by a ringing phone, a barking dog, a cat on the keyboard, and it’s gone again into the mists of time.

Now, as I pick up my fork to take a bite of that Trader Joe’s Chicken Caesar salad, Darla stands up on her hind legs, licks my elbow, then lies down next to me in her bed, a little kiss to say, “Yes, put in some elbow grease, get those thoughts out, and then come back to me here when I wake up from my doggie dreams of my own…..”

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