We had met on a misty and foggy day in the dark hemlock forest. He started to explain his lost thought but immediately broke down into tears.
I quickly offered an apology. “I’m sorry. I just did not understand what you were telling me. In fact I am still not quite sure what you are saying. You said ‘A lost thought’ as if it was really lost.”
The man confirmed my review of his statement with a simple “Yes.”
“We all lose our train of thought from time to time. Are you lost?” I questioned.
“No, that’s not it” he responded.
“I believe I am going to need some help with this” said I.
“Yes. I can see that this has not happened to you, this losing of a thought” he answered.
For some unknown reason we seemed to bond with just those few words spoken between us. He appeared comfortable with me and I had no reason to be concerned about this apparently sad gentleman.
I spied a short log that remained from a previous timber cutting of those woods. I set down my basket which contained my finds; a few morels and two handfuls of leeks.
The man remained quiet as I rolled the log over to where he was sitting. I offered him a cigarette and he accepted. I lit both his and mine. The smoke slowely drifted off into the fog and mist.
“Please explain your dilemma” I asked as I sat down on my wet log.
I expected an explanation that would take about the length of a cigarette. I planned to get on my search for mushrooms and wild onions as soon as he finished. But it was not after one cigarette. We finished the pack before he finished his story. I have never heard of anyone losing a thought the way he did. He explained it the following way: