Friday, September 28, 2007

Bottomless Pits and Deserted Roads

I take a little pad of paper with me into bookstores and write down the titles of books I'd like to own but am too cheap to buy. The library stocks almost any book on my list. Some make it onto my must have own copy list but most don't. I've saved a lot of money that way. And part of the thrill in a bookstore is the unknown anyway. If I could buy every book I wanted it wouldn't be as much fun.

I found my list from this summer's big city bookstore excursion in the bottom of my bag the other day - the bag that youngest son affectionately calls the bottomless pit. Finding that list was better than finding money or candy instead. From my list I put in a library request for Page after Page by Heather Sellers. This morning I read the sentence "Do you need to write?"

My writer's brain can't be shut off or even told to shut up. Take the other day. Dearest one wanted to continue a discussion we'd had earlier and asked if I wanted to go for a drive. The discussion had been somewhat heated and I knew this was serious stuff if we were going for a drive to hash the rest of it out. I wasn't exactly his favourite person at the time yet he took me down his favourite, seldom used, dead end road. The road that borders the land we used to live on. We drove in silence.
About two thirds of the way down the road, writer's brain kicks in. "I know," I thought, "he's taking me down this road to bump me off. This is a deserted, dead end road and no one ever comes down here. He could easily bump me off and my body wouldn't be found for ages, if ever. We used to live right next door and a black bear sat on the pile of oats in our granary only to stick his head out the door if he heard us coming, irritated that we were interrupting his feast. The bear would finish off what dearest one didn't."

And that's how my writer's brain works.
Dearest one just wanted to offload his thoughts not offload me.
Can you imagine?

To top it all off, on the drive back I saw this patch of dirt on the side of the ditch that looked big enough and broad enough to hold a body underneath it. That's what I imagined until I realized it was most likely a really big anthill gone awry. I mean, who is there to disturb the ants way out there? Unless the bear finally ran out of oats.

That is what it is like to live inside my head.

The other day dearest one went into a store and I stayed behind to read my book and people watch. A big truck pulls in beside me and I hear the young man making soothing noises to his dog, making sure it will be okay while he goes into the store. Such a thoughtful young man I thought to myself. He comes out a few minutes later talking sweet talk to his dog as he opens his truck door. The door that slams into my door because he's not watching where he's going. He turns towards me with a scowl on his face that says "How dare you?" as if I got in his way. Um, excuse me, I was here first I think to myself as I smile sweetly.
Much better than telling him if he wanted to discuss it further there's this deserted road I know.

Not more than 5 minutes later I see a woman put a bag, which might have held a greeting card at best, into the back of her SUV. I watch as she walks around to the driver's side, gets in and goes on her way. I sit there and the rest of her vehicle so full of stuff the greeting card bag won't fit? Or is that what normal people do and here all along I've just been tossing the bags helter skelter in the front and back seat. Oh, maybe she's worried that it will hit her in the head in case of an accident and it's safe and sound way back there. No wait, it could become a flying weapon if she brakes at just the right speed and she could get killed in a freak accident by something as innocent as a greeting card. And here all I carry in the back of my van is the windshield wiper fluid and extra oil. Um, ya. On second thought putting a greeting card in the back of the vehicle wins hands down.

And so it goes.

I need to write.
Otherwise my head might resemble the bottomless pit of my handbag fame.
On the other hand, you never know what treasures could be lurking there.


onionboy said...

Write on...

O | (art & faith) | {faith & art}

Duckie said...

I really love and cherish this type of writing. Perhaps because this is exactly how my brain works all day long. A day full of comedy lurks in my brain.
It's refreshing to see these words and I hope that means that you're doing good.
Lots and LOTS of L-O-V-E!
Duckie :D

Whispering Heart said...


I have known you for 21 years and your mind still suprizes me! your one funny lady mom!

Poor Mad Peter said...

Aldous Huxley once wrote (The Devils of Loudun, if i remember rightly) that we are beings with dual personalities: the angel and the maniac. The important thing here is that (emphasis mine) Every Single One of Us is like that, and has those thoughts (or our own versions of them).

The bad news potentially (maybe not) is that in that sense, none of us is unique. The good news is, none of us is unique--you're not in the least alone.

I hunch that the last bit is perhaps what you most needed to hear. And of course--write! There is a splendid little essay by Robert Louis Stevenson on how he came to be a storyteller. It starts off by describing a little boy who had strange visions and nightmares--himself. He turned them into stories.

Hope said...

"The bad news potentially (maybe not) is that in that sense, none of us is unique. The good news is, none of us is unique--you're not in the least alone."

This made me grin's exactly what I hear in AA meetings all the time. Need to hear again and again cause it does my ego good.

Grace, Every Day said...

uh...this sounds really normal to me, hope...

Anonymous said...

The over-active imagination... or the upside and the downside of "awfulizing"? Hope, you're so funny! I guess it's hard to know sometimes when we are using our "power" for good or for evil. Mwahaha....


bobbie said...

treasures indeed!