Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: A Lovely Excuse
By Sally Hanan
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As a victim of a crime, a finger can always be pointed from the injured party’s hand to the executor’s. 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 mother’s voice with my head down. My white scalp butted the back wheel spokes of the perpetrator’s bike and thus, the fate of my brain was sealed for life. At least, that’s my defense.
God says not to swear by anything on heaven or earth. I’m not the one swearing; my MRI photo swears that there is a part of my brain that was damaged. While I’m not so sure that it was that that caused me to be so easily distracted, it’s a lovely excuse and I’ll 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 consternation—my 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.
It’s 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.
“Can’t you finish anything? Couldn’t you at least just give us away? At least someone else would get some use out of us!” But, see, some day I’m 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 it’s a good one...
...I have a holy brain.
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