I Just Got Here

Brown caterpillar_2013-02-06

2013-02-06 – “I just got here,” said my wife Kit when I got into the car after getting off the train this afternoon.

I kissed her hello. Then I thought about how strange it was for her to say that. She’s not the type to come to the train early and sit around waiting for me.

“I just got here, too,” I said. She heard the train I got off of rumble across the Greenleaf bridge. She knew I just got there, too. If I had beat her to the meeting point, I wouldn’t have waited around. I would have started walking toward home. More days than not, I do start the walk. She finds me along the way and stops and I get into the car and she takes me home.

Why am I telling you this?

It’s because I forgot what I planned to write today.

This is a frequent occurrence. I often cook up a great story for you and then forget it. People ask why I don’t make notes for myself. It’s because I have a hard time recreating the mood from notes. If I write from notes, the story won’t be very spontaneous. I’m an improv writer. I just got here. And I write about it. If it has to wait, I’ll just write about something else.

No doubt, I’ve forgotten my best stories. That’s your loss. In every case I spent a nice time walking around thinking about what I was going to write. I got my enjoyment out of the experience. Then I forgot about it. The best I have to offer you. You are my train companion. If I see something out the window but forget to tell you about it, you’ll never see it. You may see the next thing (if I call it to your attention), but never the first thing.

It’s always seemed strange to me that writing a note to remind myself to write something later rarely works. I at least have to come up with a fresh angle to make it work.

It’s like the time maybe 30 years ago when I was concerned that I never had dreams at night. I read some books on the topic that said that the problem wasn’t that I didn’t have dreams. The problem was that I didn’t remember my dreams when I awoke. The solution was to keep a notepad by my bed. Before going to sleep I would prime myself to wake up after a dream. Once awake, I would grab my notepad and write down the dream.

Around this time I was trying to learn how to dictate. I had a boss who was concerned about the time I took typing my memos and wanted me to record dictation to give to my secretary (we don’t have secretaries any more). So I had a microcassette recorder. My plan for recording dreams was high tech for the day. Instead of a notepad, I kept the recorder by my bed.

The next morning I checked the recorder. Indeed, I had recorded something. I rewound the tape and clicked Play. I heard a sleepy voice saying: “bwada sasafs nor blooner ly astepes . . .” I couldn’t make out a word.

Funny? No?

You had to be there.

* * *

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