Fixing a Hole
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go
I'm filling the cracks that ran through the door
And kept my mind from wandering
Where it will go
And it really doesn't matter if
I'm wrong I'm right
Where I belong I'm right
Where I belong
See the people standing there Who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't
Come in my door
I'm painting my room in the colorful way
And when my mind is wandering
There I will go
posted on Expediters Online on 03/09/2016)
"What are you thinking about so hard over there?" He knows that look on my face. The one where I'm lost in deep thought, usually where I've chased some random spark down so far down a rabbit hole to the point it no longer resembles the original idea. My mind is good at going on tangents, or walkabouts that would make little Billy's footprints from Family Circus look like a shortcut. It just wanders on its own, often times in multiple directions at once; three or four vastly random treks of mental chaos swirling through various scenarios. Sometimes they manage to meet back in one place. Other times every train of thought derails in different places. Its at those times when he asks “what are you thinking?” it is easier just to answer “nothing,” rather than to try to explain the 20 different yet simultaneous stories or conversations playing out in my head.
Today, however, my wandering mind played six-degrees of separation with a single train of thought that stayed on track, so it was easy to answer. It all started with a safety call box on the side of the road. You know, those little blue boxes every dozen or more miles placed for distressed drivers to call police. Do people pay attention to where those are placed? How far apart they are? If something happens and you have to walk to one, is it closer to start walking forwards or backwards to get to the closest call box? Essentially, situational awareness.
Then I started thinking about the rash of violent attacks against truck drivers lately ranging from objects being thrown at trucks, gunshots, to robberies and abductions. What if something happened and I was in the middle of no where I needed to use a call box, or my cell phone? Or walk to the nearest town or some sort of remote human inhabitance. Would I be able to tell someone where I was to come help me? Or would I be too panicked and too disoriented to know where I had been taken?
In one of my favorite TV shows, Leverage, Christian Kane plays a thief turned good guy... sort of. He's Eliot Spencer, the hitter with a heart who has served in several black ops missions, your overall bad-ass tough guy teddy bear with untold secrets. His brother in arms that drives him batty is Alec Hardison, tech geek extraordinaire. In one episode they get kidnapped by some backwoods, redneck militia. Hardison is panicking and freaking out, yet Eliot is all calm and quiet. When Hardison asks why Eliot is so quiet and calm, what is he doing? Eliot responds, “Making a map.” In his mind, Eliot was calculating approximately how fast the vehicle was traveling for how long before it turned, what direction it turned, was the road smooth, bumpy, what other sounds and smells he could identify, etc... Basically, he was committing to memory anything he could use that would help him should he have a chance to escape and head back to where he was abducted, or to give to someone should he get the chance to alert help. He was cool, calm, and using rational thinking to save his life.
Yeah, I know. Hollywood. But it's smart. So there I was in the passenger seat telling myself over and over to be like Eliot. Remember to make a map. Remember to make a map. Remember to make a map. (There's no place like home, wait wrong story! No rabbit holes in The Wizard of Oz. But considering the flying monkeys, flowers that put you to sleep, and talking lions and tin men there could be a serious argument for other psychotropic or psychedelic drugs other than magic mushrooms) Anyway, it is at that point when Allen interrupted my spiraling yellow brick road... I mean my mad hatter's tea party, down the rabbit hole, let's follow the good-looking man with the long hair and mysterious past, thoughts to ask what I was thinking.
To Allen's benefit he didn't laugh when I explained what was going on in my head. However, when I mentioned Leverage he did shake his head exclaiming he should have known.
My final thought as we continued driving down the road was a comment Eliot said to the militia boys. It rings true to me with what is going on in the country today.
“The difference between a real soldier and this little Halloween outfit of yours. You'd kill to protect your rights; a real soldier, he'd die to protect someone else's.”
After that I was distracted by the pretty scenery of the Joshua Tree National Forrest for a while.