THE CLUNK OF AN IDEA

It just so happened that I was in the bathroom when I heard the sharp thud of something hitting the kitchen floor. Since my wife was the only other featherless biped in the house I assumed she was the cause, and as it was morning (which lends itself to the solemn repetition of the same old words and thoughts) and as I was feeling the imp of mischief stirring in me I called out to her: "Did you drop an idea?"

Her answer is: "What?"

I detect that she's only half listening—that, combined with the growing realization that her hearing is hardening, would ordinarily be annoying, but a soft, white cloud of sanity envelops me, and I accept the obvious fact that I'm talking through a bathroom door, which is noted for muffling and distorting matters.

I say, " What did you drop—an idea?!! "

"Drop a what? " she says, with a hint of irritation in her voice.

Before I go on I should explain we have talked about the phenomena of ideas and how they latch onto us as we latch onto them and the difference in quality between ideas and how they rule us, especially when they get to center stage in the mind, and we can't get them off, by hook or by crook. So at that mischievous moment I wanted to get the morning off to a little more meaningful start—a temptation I wish I would succumb to more often.

"An idea," I reply, with resonance, remembering the bathroom door is closed.

"No, just frozen bones I'm going to turn into soup."

"Yeah, an idea!" says I, with a glint of triumph in my eye, that couldn't be seen through the closed door.

She laughs. (Getting a laugh out of her at this hour of the morning doubles the triumph, like fines for speeding in a stretch of roadwork.) " "Yeah," she calls out, "an idea!" And then she laughs again.

Then, the picture of ideas compared to frozen-bones-turned-into-soup hits me, too—broadside. And I laugh my way into a new day.

 

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