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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: A Lovely Excuse
By Sally Hanan


The MRI photo sits flaccidly behind my bookcaseóa brain with a hole the size of dollar coin glaring from inside its edges. Thatís my brain hiding out back there. Thatís what I blame my problem on...

As a victim of a crime, a finger can always be pointed from the injured partyís hand to the executorís. The perpetrator that robbed my brain cells was cycling past the front gate of my house while I, as a tiny 4 year old, ran determinedly to my motherís voice with my head down. My white scalp butted the back wheel spokes of the perpetratorís bike and thus, the fate of my brain was sealed for life. At least, thatís my defense.

God says not to swear by anything on heaven or earth. Iím not the one swearing; my MRI photo swears that there is a part of my brain that was damaged. While Iím not so sure that it was that that caused me to be so easily distracted, itís a lovely excuse and Iíll use it for as long as I can.

That old bloody mess in my grey matter makes me read all those books in my bookcase two-thirds of the way through and then leave them to read something new. It makes me wander into rooms and then mutter like an old granny as I wring my hands in consternationómy whole line of thought gone. It makes me leave washing-up half done to go and check my e-mail.

It makes my eyes wander when boring people are talking to me. It makes me play solitaire on the computer while I listen to people I am not really interested in hearing. It makes me pick my nails and wriggle in seats when someone is teaching.

It makes me open six browser windows to find information for an article and then become unable to pick out one sentence to start my own piece with. It causes me to throw sentences together with hungry bear passion only to find that none of them make sense. It forces me to query magazines with ideas only to stare with axon emptiness when they say to go ahead and write a piece.

Itís the cause of all those bits and pieces of material, wool, paper and photographs sitting at odd angles under my stairs...calling my name in a mocking tone of voice.
ďCanít you finish anything? Couldnít you at least just give us away? At least someone else would get some use out of us!Ē But, see, some day Iím going to get around to that, and then I can show off my prowess at managing to focus on something long enough to get admiration for it.

I have been judged before for this seeming lack, but I must vehemently defend myself. None of these problems are due to a lack of self-discipline on my part, oh no! I can hear the accusations already, but all my accusers can go and sin no more because:

I have an excuse,
And itís a good one...

...I have a holy brain.

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This article has been read 1191 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Castleberry08/01/08
I would like to borrow that excuse sometime. Creative take on the topic, and nicely written.
Emily Gibson08/01/08
No 'lovely' excuses for me, either. Just my brain as it is. Great last line!
Karen Wilber08/01/08
Interesting story and a terrific final line.
Yvonne Blake 08/02/08
Oh...that happens to me...but my excuse is that there just isn't anymore room to fit stuff.
Thanks for the smile.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/08
Oh, this is sooooo good. I think I'll blame my problem on Ö let me see ó hang on, I'll think of something eventually! Excellent.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08

Thanks for an excuse for my wandering mind. I enjoyed your story.
Loren T. Lowery08/07/08
Conngratulations, Sally on your EC Placement. And now, you have both your heart and brain to "blame" for this great entry...as i can see it was written with the help of both. Loren
Patricia Turner08/07/08
And I can blame ADD... Congratulation on a terrific entry and a deserving 2nd place EC!
Judith Gayle Smith08/08/08
My Chronic Fatigue salutes your holy brain! You have summed up my existence in a few very succint words...sigh.

Most delightful and enjoyable! Thanks!
Jason Swiney08/08/08
Congrats Sally, this was a very engaging, heartfelt, sadly humorous read and a well deserved EC. I was going to say more but I can't remember...maybe I need an MRI. Congrats again!