Absent Yet Present

It begins with hearing another voice in my head. When I'm driving, folding laundry, doing all the ordinary things that have to get done, words come to me. Eventually images follow and I sit down and write. When I'm not writing I really try to pay attention, to be present in the now, but soon my disobedient mind is wandering far away. Imagine a computer with three windows, past, present, and future, like Ebenezer's Christmas spirits. I have perfected looking a person in the eye, giving that nod to show I am listening, interjecting a quiet word like really! Or yes! To pretend I am following. But I am not. Instead I am remembering an overheard conversation, or imagining my character's next scene. I can't seem to keep my brain where it needs to be, the present. Restless, roaming, looking for the right word or the almost right word, as Mark Twain would say, I let the pasta boil too long, the chops turn into char-b-Q, the marinara run over the pot in rivulets like the red sea. When I want to be writing I find it hard to pay attention, to fix this mind of mine on what is happening right now. When the right word strikes I hurry to the computer, forgetting to turn off the stove.