Being back in school I inevitably have conversations about life with younger students. These conversations run the gamete from how to get through the day and what to do when we graduate to sports and travel. During these conversations, serious or mundane, there comes the inevitable pause in the middle of a sentence. A pause where I seem to be deep in thought, a place where I seem to be searching for the best way to make a point or to spring forth a fountain of wisdom. A place where, in reality, I just can’t remember the word I wanted to use or have completely gone off track and have forgotten what the conversation was about.
To the younger member of the conversation this occurrence would be something that they probably have yet to experience on a regular basis, a strange phenomenon. My recovery may be fairly quick and witty and therefore my mystic is still intact, but on the other hand I may just completely forget where I was going in the conversation and have to pretend that I decided that continuing was not that important or I just remembered an important engagement.
Sometimes I prefer conversing with someone who is more my contemporary. Someone who has experienced these little pregnant pauses and understands them, waits patiently for my recovery and sometimes even helps me with the word I am searching for in the dusty attic of my mind. And then best of all we can have a good laugh about it and compare notes on lost words and about times of slipping completely off the track having completely lost our train of thought.
We get back on track, change the topic and hope the days of witty repartee and banter are not gone, only sitting in a box car on a side track waiting to be hitched up to the train of thought again…but only if we can remember where we left the box car and what track we are on.