Random Thoughts

When I sit down at the computer to write about my life, I don't explode with the description of the colors or smell of things, I write it pretty straightforward. I know that my memories have the smells and colors in there but they just don't seem to cry out for clarification. I would love to be able to tell your about the coppery taste of blood that sometimes comes from nowhere but I mostly get lost in the details of what I'm trying to write. 

When we travel, I often get lost in a tale about something that happened or that I did at a much younger age. I create the details or drag them out of the recesses of my memory to make them live. Instead of a Walt Disney Adventure in full color, I am more like a black and white trail camera just telling what I saw coming down the trail.

 I often wonder if the reason I don't tell the complete details is that I don't want to remember all of them. I know that there have been times that I didn't wash for days or weeks at a time but the smells of my own sweat just doesn't emerge in my stories. I can remember the time I went for about three weeks out on an operation and had about half rations during that time. I can remember the Thanksgiving dinner that I ate was a can of boned turkey and I was damned glad to have it. I didn't even have a can of John Wayne cookies or a can of that stinky damned cheese that normally I would throw away. There was something about Caraway Oil or some such crap in it that just made a smell that I could not abide even in a world where everything smelled bad. 

What I remember the most about life is that I could bury my active mind in doing things and would wake up finished with some unpleasant job and really not remember the details. I once had to fill the foundation of a building with sand and had to shovel it into a wheel barrow and push it to where it needed to be. There was no power buggy or bobcat that helped, only me a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I remember that I started on Monday and by the end of the week I ran a hose full of water to help pack it into a compaction needed to pour concrete on top of it. I'm sure that I had things running through my mind but damned if I could tell you what they were.

I know there were hours and hours of wandering through the jungle in Vietnam and I damned sure know that I watched out for booby traps and ambushes but the details of what went through my mind are no longer there. Hell, I'm not sure they were ever really stored in long term memory. I know that if I was out with a unit, I had a map and could tell you minute by minute where we were then, but I couldn't ever hope to replicate those details long. I have an ability to go somewhere in the car and almost always find my way back there without an active sense that I know or remember. Does this have to do with a active memory or imagination, Attention Deficit Disorder or just a screwy way that my mind stores things? Your guess is as good as mine. I often am going somewhere and will drive past a turn point and as soon as I do think, I should have turned there.

 Why is it that I am sometimes a few seconds short of having it right? I'm not sure if there is a good reason for this post but here it is.


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