Train of Thought Gone Missing

I’ve never understood where ideas go. The whole “I lost my train of thought,” thing kills me.

Why is it a train? And is it or is it not the train that took Harry Potter to Hogwarts?

Why is it that when I get off the couch and walk 5 feet to the computer, I lose all sense of what I’m doing with myself? I sit there, stranded for a few minutes, like my body is a car stuck in the mud. The engine revs, once, twice, to no avail, and then suddenly I’m knee deep in lost games of Solitaire, unaware of what time it is or what I’m doing with my life. Then…

OH YEAH! I wanted to check the weather. I log on to the internet, check the weather, and proceed with my day.

What happened in those minutes (hours) that I sat, stagnant, continuously losing Vegas mode Solitaire?!

Also, why is it that when I’m talking to a person, loving whatever story they’re telling, excited to add on to the conversation with an anecdote of my own, I’m suddenly Jason Bourne, unaware of anything I’ve ever done or liked or eaten. My sentences become fragments peppered with awkward laughs and ill-timed sound effects, in an attempt to fill the gaps of my story that are apparently gone forever. Then…

“PEANUTS. That’s why I started this story! You said peanuts and I thought of this one time when I ate them and I didn’t like them…and it was funny…I guess…never mind.”

This phenomenon has boggled my mind for years on end. I’ll probably never fully understand it or enjoy it, but a few years ago, I was given a real life example of what might be happening up there.

I had ordered a present for my brother that was supposed to ship from a warehouse a few hours from my house. The day after I ordered it, I got an email that it shipped, and with 10 days to go before Christmas, I wrote it off as being completely in the clear to arrive on time.

2 days went by, no package.

3 days went by, still no package.

On the evening of the 4th day, I tracked the package, assuming UPS was just overworked and hadn’t gotten around to mine yet. When the tracking page loaded, it said that the estimated arrival date was 10 days. 10 MORE days. I was flabbergasted. Then I read the route that it was on…

From the warehouse located 90 miles from my house, the package was shipped to a post office 10 minutes from my house, awaiting final delivery. From there, it was shipped to Idaho, then Minnesota, then Ohio. Once it arrived in Ohio, it was marked as an ill directed shipment and placed back on track to California. Again: it went 2200 miles before someone said, “Hey, wait, something’s not right.”

The package did arrive, eventually, well after Christmas. And by the end it was more laughable than anything. I still have no idea how it happened, though. My address was marked correctly on both the website and the package itself. All the intentions were good; something just went horribly wrong in carrying them out.

Which brings me back the whole concept of losing your train of thought. And to that I say: Don’t worry. You didn’t actually lose it, it just got rerouted. It will come back, right after it catches a Cubs game or two.

(Thank goodness I didn’t order my brother a live animal.)


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