What was it, I wonder, that inspired me to go to my laptop, open up a Word file, title it “Super Glue,” save the file, drag it into the “columns to write” folder and then get on with my day?
Since it happened over a year ago, I don’t think I’ll ever know.
And how was it that I was so on fire to create the file, yet didn’t bother to take an extra four seconds and jot down a few actual notes in the body of the document itself? A bit of guidance would have helped. Even something like “Super Glue is pretty funny — expound,” would have been appreciated. I can only assume that my Super Glue-based idea was so blindingly obvious that I knew there’d be no need for notes later on. That I’d just read “Super Glue,” exclaim, “Ah, yes!” and get right to work on birthing this single word into a fully realized humor column teeming with insight and pith.
And I’d probably do it soon, like within the next day or so, because “Super Glue” was clearly just burning a hole in my waking consciousness. My thoughts, feelings and observations about it had to come out, lest I go insane. How I’d managed to hold in my Super Glue commentary for this long must have seemed like a mystery to the me that dashed off that superfluous note all those months ago. Perhaps I even toyed with the idea of naming the file, “Super Glue — duh.”
What could it have been about? Something about adhesion, maybe? Joining of things once rent asunder? Some revisited memory of that commercial where the guy glued his hard hat to a steel girder 20 feet off the ground and was dangling from it? No, that commercial was for Krazy Glue. Big difference. To the younger me, anyway. And, to now me, as well. Maybe I was planning on exploring that difference? Super or Krazy? Wow. So lame.
Maybe I was wondering why there weren’t “super” things besides glue? Things that followed the same set of Super Glue principles and values (superness, specifically), yet were explored in other items. Like velcro. Or doughnuts. Or something.
None of these ideas sound plausible, or even interesting. Sheesh. What a loser.
I wonder how he — the earlier me “he” — would have felt about the person he was soon to become, a mere 12 months later. A person who not only totally disregarded the ambitions and inspirations of his youth, but who couldn’t even remember what they were. I feel for that person, that early me on the fast lane to disappointment, yet I’m also angry with him. How could he not have the foresight to take an extra moment to plan for the future? How could he have been so embroiled in the folly of youth? I mean, he’s not that young anymore. Had the earlier me taught him nothing?
Yeah, that’s where I go — right to anger and blame. Maybe a better way to look at this would be that the change I’ve undergone in the past year — the change that has left me clueless about the monumental significance of Super Glue — is good change. I’ve certainly had ideas in the past that I never acted on, and with just a bit of retrospect realized that not acting on them was the wisest thing. Sure, on the surface this lack of action may have seemed like inertia or procrastination, but maybe that’s just a way of protecting myself from stupidity that will make life difficult down the road. So maybe early me really was looking out for non-Super-Glue-remembering me. Maybe the Super Glue idea was a dumb one, and I didn’t make detailed notes because I didn’t want to be embarrassed later on for having written a whole freaking column about Super Glue.
No, I’m giving earlier me too much credit, I think. Why would I bother to make that file in the first place if I didn’t think it was worth pursuing? I think I was just being a punk. I think I intentionally did that to mess with myself in the future. That is so like early me.
I guess all I can do now is move on, learn from the mistakes of early me and work to pave the way for a smoother road for future me.
And delete the “Super Glue” file, of course.
Barry Smith’s column appears Mondays.
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