Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Remembering not to Forget: The Devil in the Details



(Devil's Cream Pie)

I walked ten steps, from the pantry to the cooler.  I opened the cooler door.  And stared.  For a whole minute.  What the hell was I getting?  I knew what I wanted when I was in the pantry.  And it was pretty important.  Because the second I thought of it, I went straight to get it.

There's a red crystal hanging at the doorway that leads from the store to the kitchen.  I'd say it's been there for about 2 1/2 years.  We put it up because whenever anyone working at the counter said, "I'll be right back, I just need to run to the back to get....," they'd pass through the magic mind melting rays of the doorway and step into the kitchen cleansed of any memory of what it was they were fetching.  So this red crystal is supposed to remind us to remember.  But we really don't even notice it anymore.  And when we do, we forget why it's there in the first place.

There are a lot worse things to forget.  There was that kid who was forgotten at the airport.  Mom went looking for magazines.  Dad was probably sucked into watching the scores on the sports bar t.v.  And both thought the other had the kid.  When I read the article I thought, "What crappy parents.  Who forgets their kid?"  And then I remembered when my mom forgot me on some random floor of the Empire State building.  We got off just shy of the roof.   Accidentally.  And I didn't get back on the elevator fast enough. She noticed I was missing about twenty minutes later.  And then couldn't remember which floor we'd mistaken for the top.

I can pinpoint most of my brain farts on my complete inability to focus on one thought or idea for more than two minutes.  I get distracted.  Oh!  Look!  Something shiny!

But life is a constant struggle for self-improvement and I'm working mighty hard on reversing my own devolution into a gnat.  And wouldn't you know it, baking has been a fine guide and teacher.  A daily reminder that if I don't focus, if I'm not thoughtful, that my stellar idea for a cake is going to slide into a nasty abyss of molten crud when I forget it in the oven.

So I must stay focused, I have to forcefully wrangle the trespassing thoughts that jump around like Pop Rocks in my skull.  And I must tend to the details.  And the reward is creating something that is unforgettable.