September 27th, 2008


Keeping My Balance

For the past few months, I've been doing a little project. Every day, right after I get home from work, I write on a little slip of paper something that I'm not thinking about. Some thought that doesn't cross my mind, or something I've forgotten about, or sometimes just an idle thought that had never occurred to me. After I write it, I fold up the scrap of paper, very careful not to read what I'd written because then I might accidentally think about it.

I put each slip of paper in a jar.

After two weeks, each slip of paper turns into a lizard, just as you might expect if you've ever tried it.

Then I name each lizard Laurie (I spell it differently each time) and put it in my garden. I sing it a song from next year's top forty list, give it some career advice from a book I've never read or even heard of, and gossip a little about people of whom I've never heard.

The rest of the lizards of the garden probably hear it, too, and that's okay.

Then I go inside and make a sandwich. The sandwiches taste better every day.

So my little experiment is working; I've found a way to make arbitrarily good sandwiches!

I've heard two conflicting theories. One says, the worse your life is going, the messier and more stressful and depressing, the better sandwiches will taste, because you need them to. The other says that the better your life is going, the better sandwiches will taste, because you don't need them to.

I don't know whether I believe either, but I can tell you this. Every day I do this lizard thing, the sandwiches are tasting better. I may need to stop soon, you know?