beginnings – tangent

by Acacia

When I was a child I had an infuriating habit of wandering off when I was shopping with my mother. She often threatened to buy one of those child-leashes when she finally found me. Walter Benjamin once wrote about his experiences shopping with his mother on the streets of Berlin. It was boring. He would pass the time by examining little things, scraps of paper, rocks, whatever he happened to find as he waited. I was the same way, but unlike Benjamin, a good little child who stayed by his mother, I would see something that interested me and wonder off to look at it. That would lead me to see something else, and something else, and soon I was out of sight. When I realized that I didn’t know my way back to my mom, I would sit down and wait for her to find me (which she always told me to do.) It usually didn’t take long, so I was never worried. I still do it now. It drives my husband Todd crazy the way I will wander off in a store, distracted by something I saw or something I remembered that I wanted to look at. I think he’s starting to consider a leash too.

My mind tracks the same way. My train of thought constantly goes off into different directions, to the point that it resembles one of those Family Circus comics of Billy’s path outlined in dashed lines.


Todd and I could be talking about the grocery list which made me think of a food I wanted that I shouldn’t have because I’m fat, which is because I’m not working out like I should, but to work out I need a new pair of gym shoes which I could buy at online but I should look up which one I wanted and Oh! I wanted to look up what kind of plants would be nice in the back garden but it’s been so hot I don’t really want to work out there and why is it so damn hot in the midwest? The humidity’s killing me and I wish I was back in Los Angeles where it is dry, Todd’s friend Mark still lives in Los Angeles, has he sold his house yet? I remember shopping on Ventura Boulevard which wasn’t very far from UCLA where I went to grad school where we had an amazing library. which I miss because Bradley University’s library is so bad with that incompetent inter-library loan clerk who cannot even read enough french to get the article I wanted, even though I gave her the exact URL. I need to finish reading those library books so I can return them on time, are some books still waiting in my mailbox at work? Do I want to go to campus and find out? The gym is on campus, I wish I went there more often but at least I have my ballet classes. Have I updated my ballet blog lately? Will I lose readers after so long? Why do they even read my blog? Now the Adult Beginner, her blog is really funny. She’s starting on pointe shoes. Why are they always pink? Do I want to go en pointe someday? I like my practice shoes. I wish Todd would put up the barre in my room for me, but it’s full of suitcases. All this would happen in a matter of seconds.

Then I’d say “could you put the suitcases away for me?” Sometimes I have to explain to Todd how I got from groceries to suitcases.

It’s sad, really.