AMBIENT THOUGHT – EPISODE Two Hundred Three: Talisman

The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.


I’m odd.

For some of you that know me, this isn’t news to you.

“Loyd? Odd? Damn skippy. That goes without saying”

I’m odd in a lot of ways. 

But I’m going to talk about one way in particular.

I like talismans. I like the little things that I can hold in my hand and feel the weight of them. To give you an example, I want to collect rocks from some places I’ve been to. The stones don’t have to be unique or pretty. They have to come from a place that means something to me. Now, I don’t do it all of the time, but if the feeling comes to me and I’m around some rocks, I’ll find one among the others, study it, wipe it off and feel it, and if I deem it worthy, I give it a few more wipes of my hand and then put it in my pocket. 

It is physical evidence that I have been to the place I said I had been. It’s not to prove to anybody else other than me. It’s my evidence.

I think most of you are like that. It doesn’t have to be a rock on the ground. Hell, any tourist attraction or tourist destination will have a place that you can walk into and buy something with the name of wherever you are. I have three or four hats with the town of Destin, Florida, on them somewhere in my closet. And if you ever went to Disneyland or Disneyworld, you have forked over some money for some Mickey’s ears on a hat or a t-shirt. Or some roadside tourist shack on a road trip has thousands of items. 

And, yeah, I’m a sucker for those places. The cornier, the better.

They are all talismans.

But these aren’t the ones that I’m talking about.

The talismans I’m speaking of are the ones I seek out or make for a story I want to write.

An example of one that I sought out was a stopwatch. 

I wrote a script for a short film I wanted to do that involved a stopwatch. The short film never got made. I got over my head with it and was taking on too much in my life at the time. But I did find a stopwatch on eBay that I would use before giving up the ghost to make it. Later on, I decided to turn the script into a short story, and while I wrote it over a week, I carried that stopwatch in my pocket. I would occasionally take it out, wind it, and set it into motion, listening to the steady tick as the hands turned. 

It had become a talisman. 

It was a tangible item that physically linked me to the story I was writing in my head and then putting it into words. It gave me strength.

I wanted to write a story about fairies, so I made a fairy door. I even went out in my backyard and found acorns that the squirrels didn’t get from our oak tree and glued them around the door. So I turned one into a little fairy mailbox. It became physical evidence that this fiction story existed, not just in my head or on the page.

The oddest thing that happened was when I was writing a story about a bouncy green ball. You know, one of those rubber balls that, when slammed down on the concrete, would bounce high into the air? Well, I was going to imagine this bouncy green ball in my mind, but one day coming back from the mailbox at the condo my wife and I once lived, I looked down by the sidewalk, and there, stuck in a rut and covered in dirt, was a bouncy green ball. Not red or blue or orange, but a green one. And it glows in the dark. It was exactly like the one that I had in my mind. Was it a sign? Was it a message from on high that I was doing what I should be doing? I believe it was. And I don’t care if you don’t believe in such things. I did. And do. It was a talisman given to me by God or the universe or my writing muse that lives in my head. Maybe she was the one that wished it into existence and placed it there for me to find. I tell you what. I’m getting buried or cremated with that bouncy green ball. Maybe I can take it back from where it came from.

And now, whenever I start a story that I’m feeling gung-ho about, I seek out something that appears in that story, whether I buy it or make it. And I have begun quite a collection. And I continue to add to it. I hope to have so many when I die that if I’m famous enough, they’ll have to erect a whole museum to hold them all.

Except for that bouncy green ball, of course. 

I’m taking that one with me when I go.

A lot can be said for having talismans and believing in the power that they might hold. Even if the power only lies in your mind. 

It doesn’t matter. It’s power all the same. And I intend on using that power for as long as I live.

– Loyd Elmore Jr

August 20th, 2021

I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.

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