Early-Onset Oldtimers (What?)

In keeping with my philosophy of writing, here’s a piece I wrote this past February.  The format at Main Street Writers is this:  Kathy, our peerless leader, gives us a prompt and a 30 minute limit, and says GO.  We get a ten minute warning, and then we all read our piece to the group, inviting positive feedback from the group.  There are usually five to nine of us, plus Kathy.  She also writes and reads.

These writings will always start with Kathy’s prompt.
What would you have written?

2-14-13    The prompt:   3-4 steps to this one

Short list of topics I want to write about
Prague, family, out west, customer service disasters I have known

Short list of things I don’t want to write about
Finances, work, old relationships

Share something from everyone’s lists
Self serve gas pumps, incest, monkey-faced dogs, love, relationships, the ocean, bananas, worms


I forgot it all.  Lists are supposed to save me from doom, embarrassment, disappointing my Sweetie, and having to go to Home Depot seven times a day.  But when the lists are so divergent, and the pressure is on, I can write one second, and forget the entire list by the time my eyes have moved down the page.  Could this be the first signs of Early Onset Old-timers Disease?  These days, that probably depends on how many Wendys Triple Deluxe Baconators I scarfed down over the past year.  I can feel the prions attaching themselves to my brain cells like little limpets and sucking my memories out one by one.        

What was I writing about?  Oh, yeah, pick one from column A, one from number two, and one from the third column.  Mix and match.  Never mind, I seem to be on a tear with this now.  I have to say it isn’t my fault.  I have never been one with a great memory.  In Mineralogy class as an undergrad, we were told to prepare for an exam involving mineral identification.  When the time came, there before us , being slowly passed from hand to hand, were twenty five blue minerals.  The Dreaded Blue Exam!  I later found out the professor gave one every semester.  I couldn’t remember the name, chemical formula, crystal structure, or cleavage of most.  Unfortunately for me, I was sitting toward the back of the class, and one of the classic identification techniques for minerals, after all is lost, is taste.  Twenty three people before me had licked each and every one of the samples, because they didn’t know what they were either.  The one we all got right was halite, your ordinary run of the mill rock salt.  This one was a deep translucent blue, and was slightly damp anyway, even before being licked by everyone.  Salt has a way of adsorbing moisture from the air and holding it on its clammy surface.  The sample had come from the salt mines of the Salina Salt formation beneath Syracuse, where we all sweated through this exam.  Halite, NaCl, cubic cleavage, isometric crystal system, hardness 2.5

What is amazing to me is that I remember that experience at all.  If I didn’t have it saved in my phone contacts, I wouldn’t know my mother’s phone number, but I can remember an exam I failed in 1974.  I was sitting next to Deborah Sue Tout.  I had a mad crush on her.  Sheesh.

This morning, I didn’t forget that it was Valentines Day.  I just forgot to say it to Linda before I said anything else.  Bad move, Sport.  One more marker moved over to the BAD column that she has tallied on the kitchen wall.  I tried to explain to her that I have a bad memory for such things, but there are some things that excuses just don’t fix.  Like never get your Sweetie, a milk chocolate lover, a whole pound of dark chocolates for Valentines Day.  That one is a bit higher up on that list, but it sure gets trotted out a lot.

I had hoped to remember what I was supposed to write about, but the directions are all the way up at the top of the page, and I don’t suppose that I have the time to scroll back up there to double check.  I’ll just stay down here where I can fall back on my excuse.  Ignorance is bliss.





2 thoughts on “Early-Onset Oldtimers (What?)

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