Writer’s Workshop: Thought Better of It…

Image by Yuri_B from Pixabay

That is, which prompt I was going to do. I had been planning on talking about where I’d like to travel (thus the picture at the top there), but when I started writing, I realized there was really nowhere I wanted to go, with or without Mary. Since I’m no longer driving, we don’t venture far from home. And that suits me just fine.

When I was recovering from my stroke, the doctor who was in charge of my recovery made it a point to tell me to start driving again, and gave me the number of a driving school that could evaluate me. I actually did pretty well, and was able to pilot this little Toyota Tercel around my area and got home safe without the instructor having to slam on the brakes or anything. About a week later, I was given a list of modifications I would need to make to the car, and I just about freaked out. I wasn’t about to make all those changes. Early one Sunday morning, Mary gave me the opportunity to drive the van around the block. Since my right side is weak, it was hard enough to get in, then I had trouble dealing with the gear shift, and the pedals, and I started to cry. I had driven the 1500-mile round trip between Atlanta and Chicago so many times and was really comfortable driving, but the stroke put an end to that. I climbed back into the passenger seat and that was that. It was for the best.

All I could think of was that old meme that said, "I’m doing much better now that I’ve given up hope." And when I say old meme, I mean before the days where everyone had a computer. Back then, they were made with paper, pen, letters and pictures clipped from books of clip art, and Xeroxed over and over and over. Try to find any of them now: you can’t. And some of them were really funny. I look for them online sometimes, and try to remember some of the funnier ones. Crude, yes, but funny.

Thinking about that reminds me of the way Richard Brodie described how memes replicate themselves in his book Virus Of The Mind. Just like a virus, a meme’s sole purpose in life is to replicate itself. In these days of Covid-19 and presidential elections, the memes are flying like crazy. I honestly believe that the memes associated with Covid-19 ("wear a mask," "social distancing," "better stock up on toilet paper," etc.) have spread faster than the disease itself. And we won’t go into the upcoming elections.

Speaking of elections, did you ever read the book Election by Tom Perrotta or see the movie with Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon? I need to read the book or see the movie again. Why? Why not?

This started out as a post inspired by the word "better," and I’ve gone all over the place with it. I think I’ve got the stream of consciousness thing down to a science, or an art, or both…

13 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Thought Better of It…

  1. Aw that just breaks my heart to think of you trying drive a big old van and having to come to terms with your new reality. It’s really frustrating when our bodies don’t do what we know they’ve been capable of doing. I was really sick after giving birth to Laina and while I was in the ICU on that second day I broke down too because I could not just will myself out of there. I love that quote you shared though, when you change your expectations and find contentment with your new normal, I imagine it’s a lot less stressful.

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  2. I enjoyed this John , I do most of my writing SOC that’s just how I am. Did no one ever suggest an automatic car for you. After I broke my back the second time ( not the same as a stroke I appreciate) I changed to an automatic . Just be happy, driving is not the be all and end all ๐Ÿ’œ

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