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    Thursday, August 11, 2022

    A world of distraction

    It’s probably not Alzheimer's. I’ve been acting this way all of my life. (One of my funnier patients some years ago, a fellow who had insight into his own declining memory, used to joke, “I can’t remember what I have already forgot.” He’d tell me that every time he’d see me, apparently not remembering that he had used that line already.)

    You see, today my wife, Carla, asked me change the well’s water filter. She actually asked me to do it yesterday, but I somehow forgot. I promised myself that the sun wouldn’t set before I finished the filter.

    I went into the car to get filters — she had picked up a box of them. Next to the box with the filters, I saw a bunch of tools and woodworking supplies that I needed to bring to my shop. It would take two trips.

    So after putting the first trip’s things in their spots, I saw that one of my lathe tools — my skew chisel — had a big knick on the sharp edge, and I remember that I intended to sharpen it.

    So I sharpened it on the grinder and then honed it with a series of stones to 10,000 grit (a dull tool is a dangerous tool).

    After sharpening it, naturally, I had to test it, and I chucked a blank piece of wood for a chair leg I’m making, and for the next 30 minutes, turned a leg for a Windsor chair. Remembering the filters, I guiltily turned off the lathe, swept up and headed for the car. Looking at my watch, I realized that it was time for lunch.

    At lunch, Carla asked, “How difficult was changing the water filter?”

    I can’t lie to Carla. I mean, of course, I CAN lie, but she knows right off, because whenever I do lie, my voice becomes hoarse (Pinocchio’s nose grows, but my voice cracks and he gets hoarse…) and Carla can tell I’m full of merda. So I 'fess up to the truth that I didn’t change the filters.

    “OK. I’ll clean the dishes, and you get the filter done.”

    So we have our espresso and a biscottino¸ then I go back to the car, see the box with the filters, and next to that are the other things I meant to bring in a second trip to the shop — a dremel sharpener for my chainsaw, some sandpaper, and some star bits for my drill.

    I spend the rest of the afternoon in the solitude of my workshop, sharpening the chainsaw, organizing the drill bits, then cleaning and more organizing, and wow, my shop looked great. But then there’s those filters I still hadn’t done.

    I head back to the car, but first I look at my watch and realize that it’s after 5 p.m. and that if I don’t exercise now, it’ll be too dark later.

    So I go for an open water swim, while Carla kayaks near me to make sure that I don’t get run over by a boat. I swim for a good 50 minutes, and I’m exhausted when we get back home. So I drink a beer and chill with Carla for a bit, and then she says, “Pasta for dinner?” What normal human being would ever say not to Carla’s pasta?

    Dinner over, I sat down to write this column and wonder why I still haven’t changed the water filter. 

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