By Chuck Woodbury
I have been working too hard. No, I’m not looking for sympathy. I have been living/existing in my right brain, which is the creative part of the brain. It’s where I write. You know when you are in your right brain when time flies so fast you don’t even notice it passing.
When I am in my right brain, I love to write and and I write well. I could write all day long, and all night long if I could stay awake. When I am in my left brain, however, I write like an eighth grader. No kidding! But in the last year, traveling around the USA, I have been in my right brain most of the time. I sit down at my little desk in the motorhome at 8 a.m. and then I look up and six hours have passed! Where did they go?
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that when I’m in my right brain, story ideas pop into my head one after another. It’s crazy. It’s maddening. I need two or three clones. But that won’t work, because they would need to be born, then grow up before they could write. So forget that. I’ll be dead.
I’m not sure why I told you all that. Anyway, I did, so I hope you enjoyed yourself or learned something.
NEXT, Gail and I went to a play the other night in a town called Fairmont, Minnesota. What a beautiful place. Honestly, it looks like Mayberry. The play was “Guys and Dolls,” presented by the local community theater group at the Fairmont Opera House. Gail and I arrived 20 minutes early. Everybody was milling about in the lobby, talking, laughing. But we didn’t know anybody, so we just took our seats.
Soon, it was almost showtime. Do you know what I did? Keep in mind I was still in my right brain, about halfway oblivious to the world around me. What I did is I reached down to fasten my seat belt! Is that crazy?!! Talk about scatter-brained.
The minute I realized what I was doing, I started laughing. Gail asked me what I was laughing about, and I told her, and then she started laughing. People were looking at us. “Who are these strangers and why are they laughing?” Now, three days later, I’m still laughing. My brain neutrons are still firing so fast I can’t keep up. I think it might pop. I try to slow down. But I can’t. Sometimes I sit on the couch, stare out in the distance and write entire stories in my head. I wish I had a tape recorder in there so I wouldn’t have to try to write the stories down again on a computer. I forget at least 90 percent of the stories before I can even sit down to start writing them.
Again, not complaining. I would rather have too many things I wanted to write about than none or hardly any. I think I would be depressed if I didn’t have ideas.
THEN YESTERDAY, Gail and I were driving west along I-90. We were in the right lane, and there was barely any traffic. Then, I spotted a construction crew, maybe a mile ahead. Its truck was occupying half of the right lane. I would soon need to move over. But there was a little white car in the left lane almost beside me, going about the same speed. So I couldn’t just merge into the left lane. The truck ahead was getting closer. So I slowed down to let the car pass. It didn’t. So I slowed some more. It still didn’t pass. Now, I was about a tenth of a mile away from the truck that was parked dangerously in my lane.
So I just put the pedal to the metal, which on my gas motorhome is like doing practically nothing. But with plenty of room to spare, we passed the construction crew. But do you know what happened? One of the workers flipped the bird at me as I passed! He made a huge gesture! And I thought “Huh!” Like, what did I do?
I wanted to go back and say something to him, and it would not have been nice. Of course, I couldn’t, so I just went on and immediately calmed down as I always do because I am by nature a guy who much prefers to be calm than angry. Anger is a waste of energy. I don’t like wasting anything including anger. I don’t like angry people. So I just avoid them as much as possible. They’re energy vampires.
For the next ten miles Gail and I talked about that guy. I said to her that what he did just proved again that no matter what you do, even when it’s good — in my case being careful to swing very wide of the crew’s truck — you will piss someone off.
I figured the guy in this case was just an angry person. Why are people like that? I don’t get it. Why can’t we be nice? Sometimes I want to move to Mars, where I assume angry people will not be allowed, at least not at first.