#36. I learn Oliver’s theory for why Mom and Dad emerge regularly in the Way-Back seat of my memory. (BTW: This blog is for all ages, um, maybe not 5-year olds.)
Oliver reads my blog.
Just so you know, Mimi and Pop read it too. I’m not TOTALLY unsupervised.
Caveat.* I might decide to delay posting my write-up about an “incident” until it’s all over and done with, so to speak; that is, until it’s “public knowledge.” After making this statement, if I were Sherlock Holmes, I’d tap the side of my nose meaning we all know what I mean, wink wink. It’s our little secret.
My “when to publish it” protocol is akin to a Mom “incident” back when she was an undergrad. She wanted to explore the personal side of Elvis Presley at Graceland Mansion, maybe even see Lisa Marie, his daughter. It was part of her thesis topic. So, with her roommates, she drove the yellow Volkswagen Bug (it was still functioning as our second car when it got wrecked by the murderer) non-stop from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine to Memphis, Tennessee, where they got the first tour, didn’t see Lisa Marie, but did get to sit in the Jungle Room and shuffle through the green shag carpets. They drove back, also non-stop, munching granola bars and swilling coke and coffee. And gushing and giggling about Elvis and his police badge collection. (I guess you need to be there to appreciate this.) Later that year, she told her Dad. That’s what I mean by “delaying.”
Now back to the “Oliver reading my blog” paragraph: Oliver is a focuser. He concentrates and studies and researches until he gets a complete “read” on ideas. He’s like the laser beam on the new bar-code scanner at our library. (Sam, Clyde and I love it; Pop and Mimi are terrified of it.) Here’s an example of the usefulness of his lazer-focus.
I’ll set the scene: We’re working at opposite ends of Sir Isaac. Oliver is combing thistle from his tail and I’m patting lineament onto a sore spot where his bridle rubbed him the wrong way.
Isabel, I’ve been thinking about when you found the feather and sensed that your Dad was trying to tell you something.
(Not sure I should have shared that with him.) What about it?
Don’t think you’re losing it when this happens.
Losing it? What are you talking about Oliver? He’s hit a sore spot with the words “losing it.” I might need some of Sir Isaac’s lineament, this comment bridles me so much. (I adore constructing puns. Adore it. I can distract myself this way even in the midst of being sore and bridled.)
Oliver drops another thistle into his leather apron pocket and looks along Sir Isaac’s flank at me. A continuing connection with the deceased loved ones is normal. (Honestly, can you believe it? He actually talks like this.) The connection gives solace.
Solace? I kiss Sir Isaac’s nose and check the underside of the new bridle for roughness.
Comfort. So when your Dad gets you to reread that quote about the tower and another time pushes you to hop into Four Square? He’s maintaining a connection to you, giving support from afar. Or maybe he’s not so far. I dunno.
And that’s something your Wikipedia experts say is not losing it? I’m skeptical, but listening. I have no mental files on this; no prior knowledge that would help me get a grasp; no schemata, as Mr. Grim likes to say.
Absolutely! Oliver nods sagely, or in a manner he thinks is sage. You can move forward. You can get on with your new life. But you don’t need to let go of your Mom and Dad. It’s great that they’re sitting in the Way-Back seat of your memory waiting for you to tune in to them. Maybe it’s like you’re tuning a radio, twisting the dial back and forth. And, PRESTO! Suddenly you get “Hugh and Miriam”instead of the local weather on WAMC.
I ponder this while he mostly hums Long Monday, the John Prine song that inspired the way-back seat imagery.
I’m grateful to Oliver for his explanation. And, I’m sure Mimi and Pop will talk with me about it, once I “post” this entry and they read it. That’s okay. It might spread some solace on our sore hearts. Like lineament.
*I love the word caveat! It comes from the Latin word for “let a person beware.” Oliver and I found out about it by way of researching the preliminary hearing challenge. Oliver wonders if we could file a “Caveat Petition.” Caveat Petitions are precautionary measures a person can take if she thinks some case related to her is going to be filed in court. Oliver thinks it might be one way for me to insert myself into the Preliminary Hearing and alter the murderer’s pleas.
But you don’t actually know if petitioning is what I should do, Oliver? I ask him.
He shakes his head no. Sounds promising though.