“Random Access Memory” (first published October 30, 2005)
Iâ€™ve been very conscious of my mind lately, as I have been making a concerted effort to quiet down the mental chatter that is frequently taking place in my head. So this weekend after much breathing, visualizing, and cognitive retraining I was able to connect with a place of intense inner stillness and quietness.
And what did I encounter in this amazing place of clarity? A deep insight into the mystery of life? A powerful connection with the Divine? Actually, yes. But in the middle of those incredible experiences, somehow there was also still room for the following thought:
â€œWhatever it is I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me.â€
So what that says to me is that apparently, I will never truly understand how the mind works, no matter how much I may study it.
For example, why is it that I often have trouble remembering simple things like my age and my phone number, yet I can recall almost the entire sign language alphabet which I learned in 1977 when I was in kindergarten?
And itâ€™s not just my mind I donâ€™t understand, either.
This weekend my husband and I were visiting some friends, one of whom was telling us about her brotherâ€™s recent wedding. She began by describing how her brother called her on a Thursday to tell her that he was getting married that following Monday. So she and her mother decided to fly out and help with the preparations. After running around all weekend they finally made it to the day of the wedding, and she and her mom were with the bride-to-be as she was getting her hair done for the ceremony.
Our friend: â€œSo, she finally found someone to do her hair. He was a little person. You know, thatâ€™s what youâ€™re supposed to call midgets now.â€
Us: â€œHuh. Thatâ€™s different.â€
Our friend: â€œYeah, so as he was doing her hair and riding around on his scooterâ€¦â€
Us: (interrupting with snorts of laughter)
Us: â€œWhat?! He was riding a scooter?!â€
Our Friend: â€œWell, yeah, because he couldnâ€™t walk. So, anyway, I had to be his assistant and hand him his tools because his partner had to go out.â€
Us: (the snorts have become shouts now)
Us: â€œWhat?! He was a gay midget hairdresser?â€
Our Friend: â€œYeah. But his partner isnâ€™t a midget. Heâ€™s a regular-sized person.â€
At this point further conversation became impossible, because my husband was laughing so hard that he was crying, and I was laughing so hard that I fell off of their couch and onto their living room floor.
But believe it or not, that was not the funniest part of this story. The funniest part was the fact that our friend told us this story with absolutely no reaction whatsoever. She. Never. Laughed. Once. And she honestly did not understand why we were in hysterics. She told the story in a tone of voice that suggested that gay, scooter-riding, hair-dressing midgets are a time-honored, traditional part of everyoneâ€™s nuptial experience.
I donâ€™t really have anything more to add to this story, which I truly believe was a gift from the humor heavens. So to close, I will share with you the additional mental gem I received during my weekend of quiet contemplation:
â€œPass, pass, pass, pass the Old El Paso.â€