by Louise Yeiser
Sometimes I wonder if my thoughts are like hordes of birds that crowd onto roadside telephone wires, so close together that they look like they're piled into each other's laps, as they nest in a clumpy row between the poles. If one flies away, they all fly away - a flapping ripple that clusters into an illusive shape that eventually dissipates into the sky, leaving the empty wire far behind. I am hoping that my mind is more like a full parking lot, where cars creep in a line, following a man in a blue baseball cap, who struts down the lane, past a sea of bumpers, while he hums to himself, flipping and jingling his keys with two fingers. The minute he backs his car out, the next car, waiting possessively, blinker blazing, patches in to fill the warm space. I hope my thoughts are like that - a constant stream of outing the old and inning the new, like a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces come and go, and whose picture changes, sometimes slightly empty and sometimes slightly full, but always in motion, busy becoming something new and different, or simply something else. Replenishing and refreshment are so much kinder than complete abandonment; therefore, my mental, neon Vacancy sign is always turned on; new ideas, always welcome, even if it means the old ones pull away and leave me in a temporary lull.
Louise Yeiser, whose full catalog is here, is a creative non-fiction student at the University of Pittsburgh. She's trying not to worry about her middle-aged forgetfulness.