Forget Waldo! Where is Ed Decker


Sorry, Waldo, but I have enough trouble trying to keep up with my own location.

A few years back, I had the occasion to argue the Law of the Impenetrability of Matter with a Metro bus. This law is defined as the inability of two bodies of matter to occupy the same space at the same time. When push comes to shove, it is always the softer body of matter that loses in any attempt to defy this law. We were living in North Bend at the time, but the bus nailed me in Issaquah, right across the street from the Fish Hatchery.

After spending the better part of a month in a coma, I eventually rose from the hospital bed minus a lung, barely able to walk and sent home with a mind firmly set toward finally getting to eat actual food and avoiding being anywhere close to a bus for the rest of my life.

My recovery was slow and frustrating..  It started with living life in my bedroom, expanded to the bathroom and finally, my wife would help me downstairs each morning where I spent each day scooting about with my walker. and, I could rest in our downstairs guest room.

Summer turned to early fall and I was now able to make my own latte.’ I could go out on the deck and read the paper. We lived on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington and sitting there basking in the morning sun, watching the river roll by was great.

Then one day, the impossible happened. There were no espresso beans in the latte’ machine.  Fear of ‘No latte’ fell upon me. My wife was 20 miles away in another town, working.  Panic filled my heart.

But wait.  My SUV was parked in the garage and Huxdotter’s drive-thru Latte stand was only a short drive through town. Yes, my doctors, wife and children had all forbidden driving, but the urge and  the terrible need was there. I was a grown man, alone and desperate. I knew what I had to do.

With some huffing and lots of puffing, I worked my way down into the garage and to the driver side door.  With great effort, I lifted myself up and after a long rest, slowly made my way down the winding road to town. In minutes I was ordering a triple shot Grande latte and a pound of espresso beans. I was ruler of my life. I was happy.

It was with glee that I pulled out of the drive-thru and headed home, no one the wiser. Except, I had no idea where I was and didn’t know where I lived. Panic hit!  I thought, “This is ridiculous!” I live in a town with one main road and six side streets.  How could anybody get lost? I recognized nothing except the latte’ stand.

I finished my latte and went back for another one, hoping the ladies would know where I lived. They smiled at me.

Finally, I did the last thing in the world I wanted to do. I called my wife.  Need I tell you what happened when she found out I was driving my SUV on a street where people were? Now, I love my wife and she always looking after me with the very best of intentions. I knew she would be very unhappy about this escaped patient of hers.

She asked me where I was and the street name. She led me all the way home, staying on the phone until I pulled safely into the garage. It was easy doing that. I had left the garage door open.

Seems the doctors later determined I was suffering from Transient Global Amnesia.  It was the end of my driving for a very long time. In fact, my wife collected all my keys, kept them in her purse, and took them to work with her every day. For months, I was a captive in my own home…. At least they kept me in espresso beans!

Months later, she returned my keys. I still got lost now and then but learned that I probably knew where I was going before I left and with my cell phone, a note pad of instructions and a GPS I loathed, I usually worked it out or just stopped someplace nice until someone eventually found me.

All that to tell you about my trip to get a haircut recently. My wife gave me instructions on how to go to a new hair cutting place.  She said it was in a local mall where I often shopped. I drove there and after making the rounds of all the shops, came up blank. Trouble was about to happen. Fear of Global amnesia came upon me. Fear of my wife was even greater.

I finally called her after three rounds through the place, checking every shop, one by one. She said that I was not paying attention. She said that I should not be allowed to drive alone anymore.

I rechecked every shop and gave up and parked.  As I sat there, preparing myself to once more turn in my car keys, I wondered, “what about the actual address of the place.”

I called my wife again and asked her for the street address. After some words regarding transient global amnesia, my age and the value of the car I was driving, she firmly advised me to sit where I was parked until she came to get me. Finally, she relented and gave me the street address.

Miracle of miracles! She had actually sent me to the wrong mall.   I was set free!  I did know where I wasn’t.                             .

The shop was one block west of where I was parked.  Moments later, I was happily awaiting the next empty chair. I had won a small victory. Life for this old man was good again. I was back in control.

I couldn’t wait to get home and share this joy of finding my barber with my wife. She wasn’t as excited as I thought she would be. I made us both a latte.