The Duncan Banner

February 15, 2014

Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

Jeff Kaley
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.

Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

OK. Now, back to my point, because there is a point.

Notice I didn’t say I was the most handsome, most intelligent, most successful, most caring or most well-dressed person I’ve ever known. I just stated that I’m the most “interesting” person I’ve ever known.

This self-realization is the result of over 62 years of knowing me and being a constant observer of the life I’ve been livin’. And I also think it has something to do with being a Gemini.

See, Gemini have the unique ability to separate themselves from themselves. It’s sort of an out-of-body deal.

Gemini can stand next to themselves and provide a yin to the yang of everything we do. We are our own best friend, but we are also our most harsh critic; we can also amaze ourselves at times, but we can totally bumfuzzle ourselves.

To wit: A couple days ago, I’d accomplished the morning routine without much difficulty and was headed to work. Just as a reference point, the Lovely Karen and I live on the northeast side of Duncan, out in the Cotten Hills addition. (Yes, it’s “Cotten” not “Cotton”!)

Anyway, my journey to work lasted approximately 27.3 seconds and covered 2/10ths of a mile. By the time I reached the junction of Fifth and Elder streets, the warning light went off in my memory lobe: Did I lock the front door when I left home?

I wasn’t sure. Previous experience told me to turn around and go back to the house, which I did.

Upon arrival, I found it was a good thing I’d gone back. The door wasn’t locked, so I took care of that and quickly jumped back in the car and resumed the journey.

Just another reference point: Most days of the week, “the journey” involves driving to the News-Democrat office in Waurika. It’s a 28-mile trek from the house to the office, and that’s where I thought I was headed — until about 6.4 minutes and 2.7 miles later. Preparing to get off Bois d’Arc and onto U.S. Highway 81, I looked at the gas gauge and the message there read: 19 miles to empty.

“Dang it,” I said to myself, “I thought I put gas in the car last evening!”

“No,” I answered myself, “you were going to stop at the Chisholm Corner at Fifth and Plato, but instead you got sidetracked talking on the cell phone to an old friend and drove right past the store without stopping.”

“Yeah,” I replied, “that’s another reason I hate cell phones!”

Regardless of that inner conversation, it became clear I needed to stop and get gas or my journey to work would end somewhere north of Addington.

Well, I pulled off at Stripes convenience store to get some petrol. But in the process of getting out of the car, I stuck my hand into my right pocket to check for the money clip. The only thing there was one of those weird balls of lint that somehow form in pants pockets.

“OK,” I thought to myself, “I’ll just use the credit card.”

If you’re starting to grasp the truly mesmerizing experience of being me, you know what comes next: Yeah, I didn’t have the one credit card the Lovely Karen allows me to carry.

“Dang it!” was not the phrase I uttered heading back home — AGAIN! FOR THE SECOND TIME!!

Somehow or other, though, the other half of my Gemini self took over. It reminded me to try to see the humor — or at least, the farce — in this series of events.

By the time I got back in the house, picked up the wad of bills still laying on the table, found the credit card and grabbed the checkbook for added insurance. (I was getting a little ... uh ... over the top.)

All the way down to Waurika, I reminded myself it’s things like this bizarre series that makes me the most interesting person I know.

And I was still telling myself that when I got to the News-Democrat office and realized the valise I take to work each day — which contains all the notes I need to write stories, the laptop and the camera — was sitting on the floor in my den ... AT HOME!

Yeah, I never cease to be amazed by how INTERESTING I am.