While I was on the plane from Minneapolis to Boston, my family of origin were engaged in a bet: what will she lose, break, forget, ruin this time? When I found out about the bet I was miffed, but I didn’t have a leg to stand on. I had already told my sick brother of my misadventure at the airport. It felt like a lucky thing then, something to make him laugh as he lay there in his hospital bed.
At least smile a bit.
I am extremely absent-minded, have been since I was a child. I’m not proud of it, but after four decades of I- should-do-better-now adulthood, I am trying to give up on feeling ashamed. It doesn’t make it any better. I yam what I yam.
I have never had any diagnosis – just a lot of nodding heads when symptoms of ADD or autism spectrum are noted. Trouble learning to tie shoes. Trouble spelling words I use constantly – like foreign – when I was in graduate school studying U.S. foriegn policy — and bicycle when I was on a 14 month bycicle trip and blogging daily. Trouble remembering to comb hair, clean glasses. An absolutely maddening dog-run- in-circle-chasing-tail when I try to leave my house with the basics: keys, wallet, phone.
The only things that give me relief from a brain that will not sit still long enough to do things right, are walking, biking and writing. A combination of one of the first two and the second is heaven. The thoughts begin to gather, to form lines, to make sense.
I have had a million falls and a million second chances as a result of my wayward brain. I have become aware, mostly through my teaching, that many of the second chances I get are classic examples of white privilege, and in some cases, short woman privilege. I appear to be helpless young thing, or, now, a tottering old thing, but not dangerous, not trying to cheat the system. A presumption of innocence is a privilege I have relied on to get me through countless messes.
But that does not explain the case of the blue back pack.