An Automatic Habit

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Hard? “Hardly,” came the voice from the other end of the phone. More like “impossible” or “flat-out undo-able.”

“Hon – chill. If you can’t even muster up a dollop – that’s all, just a dollop … about the same amount of hot sauce you like on your eggs .. give or take .. but, yeah – just a dollop – of patience, you’re never going to fix it the way you’re wanting it to be.”

To herself, Eleanor thinks: ‘Steerike Two.’ ‘Oh no you don’t. ‘ First: ‘Hon – chill.’ And now: ‘what was that word you used? Started with a ‘p?’ Prurient .. Prevaricator .. Piss pot Fusspot? No. No. No. Ha – just now coming to me: ‘premeditate,’ as in my wheels are going round and round. Best quit while you’re still – or still have – a(head),’ Eleanor teased. Now – tell me again how I need to be ‘patient.’

Good God, Woman. You need to apply for a concealed carry for that brain of yours. Shoot first. Pick up the pieces after. With ‘ask hubby for clarification’ hovering somewhere around the 9th or 10th option.”

But, by this point, hubby’s insights, dressed even as dapper as they were – in their Sunday finery, no less – sounded to Eleanor eerily reminiscent of the sharp snap and retort of a bull whip breaking the sound barrier. Its crackle-pop whistle snap at its apogee. Igniting instantly some dormant dry leaf pile memories. And just like that – whistle snap – she was back to being her 9-year-old self once again.

As automatic as a habit, she retreated into her own head. Her mind both shunning and sequestering all other external stimuli at this point – save the imaginary birth of the bullwhips unmistakable whistle snap against the brick wall between her and reality.

The feeling faded.

It always did.

‘Thank God for that.’

Photo: Angela B. – the woman who coined the term: ‘Automatic Habit’
thanks, girl. hoping you’re at peace with your piece of your pie in the sky.

 

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