Maybe it’s not forgotten

We do this. We all do this. Writers more than anyone. We think about the perfect answer, the best reply, the final sentence to an ongoing argument, but we fail to say it or save it. Why?
Because we forgot.
We forgot to write it down, or we forgot what it was by the time the conversation comes back to us or the ranting arguer gives us our moment.
I know.
It happened to me the other night, mid-concert. I was speaking to a friend and said something-something so profound-we both nodded and smiled. I swear if it had been a cartoon, a lightbulb would have gone on over our heads.
As it was, we were interrupted, started saying something else, and by the time it came back around, I’d forgotten what I’d said. I remember the second after the lightbulb moment, I reached for my phone thinking, I have to write that down, then looked at my friends and thought, no, that would be rude. Just be here. Just be.
Maybe that’a the ticket.
As I thought about that night, I was reminded of the scene in MADMEN where Harry Crane believes he has THE IDEA, after a very long day, and night, of no ideas. He gets the idea in the break room with the janitor, but doesn’t tell the janitor, then races back to his office to write it down, but first- a congratulatory drink…
yep, you guessed it. He forgot to write it down and the GREAT IDEA vanished.
In the morning, he tells Peggy he’s got nothing for the telegram account. She too, has come up dry, but as Harry speaks of his need to write the great idea down, the way he wished he had it now in his hand, they both see the GREAT IDEA, and together pen the ad for the telegram, giving it superiority over the telephone. A sort of “When it’s important, have it in writing” kind of thing.
So in the end, we have to believe that the idea, or the nuance of it anyway, will make it to the page. It may not be as crisp as the first time it popped up in your mind, but you have to trust that it’s not forgotten, just marinating in your brain, waiting for the perfect moment to surface. A moment when you will be at the keyboard, mid-scene.