We live in a world of plans and expectations. Flip the switch as you enter the room, and you expect light. Or perhaps a fan. Or in my case, you don’t know what you expect because it is dark and you can’t see which of the three switches you hit. It is funny as you get older, your night vision begins to decay. But you know the layout in your head, so you loosely know which switch to hit except for the garbage disposal. For whatever reason, there is a light switch by the garbage disposal switch in our kitchen. I have flicked on the light over the sink so many times it isn’t funny. It isn’t a bright light, so I don’t always notice it, stare at the stuff in the sink.
It’s not going down, I think, I have to do something. But the reality is it is light. While light is a powerful energy, it doesn’t grind carrot tops, and bean ends. That requires the whirring blades of the garbage disposal. So I stand there looking goofy for a minute, why isn’t the garbage disposal making the animal noise and grinding up the food. The garbage disposal sounds like someone has a badger under the sink. That is usually when I realize that I flicked the light switch again. If someone is in the kitchen, I tell them I meant to turn the light on first. “I like to watch the stuff go down the drain,” but they know and I know that I once again hit the wrong button.
Sometimes memories are switches. You hit the wrong switch, and the memories flow around you. They aren’t the ones you were seeking but they are still memories. I find that as I progress through my father’s pictures that sometimes the light switch isn’t for the image I see. It isn’t for the garbage disposal. It is for something else and that something else is interesting, but not what I was seeking like an ethereal game of fish. You ask for 3s, the person you ask doesn’t have 3s, but you draw a three so you get to ask again in a never-ending cycle of success and failure. Seeking memories but in the end not finding the ones you were looking for, instead of finding something else.
Excuse me, I have to go the garbage disposal isn’t working again.
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)