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Life in the Twilight ZonePosted Thursday, May 7, 2009, at 10:44 AM
I once had a button I really liked - It said, "Of all the things I've ever lost, I think I miss my mind the most." That button really sums up my current mental status.
I misplace the usual things - my car keys, the TV remote, letters I'm going to mail, bills, the dog leashes, needles, scissors, my glasses - but the most frustrating item has me wondering if I'm truly entering the Twilight Zone of my life, in more ways than one...
Okay, here's how it went: I picked up the Advance senior photos for the NSC at the high school office. They were in a white, letter-sized envelope, fastened shut with a sticker.
I brought them to the NSC office, put them on my desk, and wrote: "Give to Josh" on front. I then put them into the big manila envelope, which I keep on my desk for the Dexter courier, who comes on Wednesday to deliver the weekly NSC. That's my day off, so I'm rarely here.
On Thursday, I had a message from Josh (in the composing room at Dexter). He said, "Madeline, where are the Advance senior pictures?"
Thus began a nightmare, which haunted me for four nights, as I searched my office, the trash, my car, everywhere in the tiny four-room facility. I did not search a back room, which is kept locked and belongs to the landlord. I use that only rarely, with his permission, when I feel a migraine coming on and need to stretch out on the floor. Since I never take anything in there with me, I felt no need to look there.
I should have.
The weekend passed, and I heard no more, but I felt sure they would have called me, if they had found the photos, so I still had recurrent nightmares in which I screwed up in every conceivable way. I even dreamed that the mayor was being sworn in at one of the parks, and he was assassinated! I was supposed to be covering it, but I was in the bathroom! Did you see the first "Bridget Jones" film -- the scene where she goes to get "ciggies," as the British call them and thinks she's missed a very important story? That's me -- only I had no Colin Firth to save me!
I came into the office Monday morning to find it was cold, and a carbon-monoxide sensor was beeping constantly. I went back to the thermostat, turned on the heat, and saw that the door to the back office hadn't latched properly. Opening the door to see if the beeping was coming from there, I saw it - the white envelope with the senior photos -- lying on the floor, just inside the door!
Criminitly! I told them at Dexter that I had sent it down with the courier! What the blue blazes was it doing still here, lying on the floor in the back room??? If I didn't put it in the manila folder, why is that memory so clear???
Yes, yes, there is only one explanation --- I have entered the TWILIGHT ZONE!!
..Or....what are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning...?
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.