I miss my mind the most
by Brian Keaney
I’ve had the same boss since I was 15 years old. No matter how bad I am at the job, no matter how many times I screw up, no matter that I’ve never shown an aptitude for the work or the slightest enjoyment in it, he always takes me back. Then again, it helps that his sister is my mother. Additionally, it helps that much of the work can be done by someone with only a strong back, with no real skill needed.
Being not only a boss but an uncle, he will often give me helpful tips and hints. The most common, usually heard multiple times a week, is “Stay in school. You don’t want to be doing this shit for the rest of your life.”
I distinctly remember my second day of graduate school. My class was in the evening, and during the day I was on my hands and knees in the mud, picking up the 2 inch pieces of vinyl siding below me while rain pelted me from above. “I stayed in school,” I remember saying to myself. “Why am I still doing this shit?” Nonetheless, the advice remains solid, even if I still find myself working for him from time to time. He gets some cheap labor, and I get a little extra scratch to put into my 529 account. It works out.
Another boss began telling me about a year ago that after your 30th birthday your body starts falling apart. Though I learned a great many things from him, on this count I think he was wrong. My body is just fine. It’s my mind that has been going.
I’ve been losing things lately. Actually, misplacing is probably more accurate. Though my Jeep was lost to Davey Jones’ locker, most of the missing items have eventually been returned to my possession. When I went on vacation in July, I took off my watch. It was several weeks before I found it again, tucked into the side pocket of a backpack I don’t often use. I’m on my third pair of sunglasses since Memorial Day. I haven’t seen my license in a couple of weeks.
Most troubling is my sneakers. Not only do I not know where they are, I don’t know the last place I saw them. I assumed – wrongly, as it turns out – that when I packed up all my earthly belongings and parceled them out to storage areas in four family members’ garages and spare rooms, that they would turn up. I don’t know how you lose something like a pair of sneakers, but I did.
This old boss may have had the worst hangover of his life when he turned 30, but I believe what I’m experiencing is far worse. Of everything thing I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.