Jim Siergey: Mental Pathways

January 7th, 2019

“The tickets are under the soldier.”

He didn’t understand what I said. No surprise. It happens to me nearly all of the time.

The mental connections I make don’t always travel along the same pathways that others do. It’s not that mine are Robert Frosted, taking the path less traveled, they take the path untraveled.

So I am often met with perplexed looks. Sometimes these looks of perplexion are displayed with glazed eyes and heads cocked to the side like our canine friends. It’s all I can do not to reach out and scratch them behind their ears.

Often I am completely dismissed and ignored, which is a relief. But sometimes I am not. In those circumstances I am forced to communicate via pedestrian methods without a hint of imagination or panache.

Then there are those inquisitive sorts, language dissectors who wish to know how I got to where I am from where I was and why I used the words that I did.

Offering up such an explanation, as you can ascertain from merely reading that preceding sentence, can be very confusing and rather involved.

But it can be done.


Mr. Allen could make sense of it…


However, people just don’t seem to have the patience to stick with me as I attempt to draw them a verbal map of my mental hops, skips and jumps. In their defense, and I am always one who will come to the defense of others, such an interlocution tends to be very dry.

If you’ve ever heard Steve Allen explaining humor, you know what I mean.

Yet I maintain that it is pretty easy to explain how my thought process works. It is basically a combination of visual cues, homophones and juxtaposition of expectation. I then tie these disparate strings of thought together with an acoustic knot and voilà!

I am constantly surprised to learn that everyone doesn’t think that way.

I wish I could provide you with examples but nothing in particular stands out in my memory. The things I say are only odd and perplexing to others. To me they sound completely normal and make perfect sense.

In this particular case none of that alleged obtuseness came into play, at least, as far as I’m concerned.

On the kitchen counter is a five inch tall plastic molded green soldier wielding a mine detector. Under it were the tickets.


Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Foot Loose Parade

Leave a Reply:

Comments subject to approval--if we don't like it, we won't post it.

    • Archives