I wish I could blame it on the drugs – but, even if I have a rock ‘n roll past of some sort, I hardly ever partook in the illegal substances party nor did I ever drink in copious amounts – I actually only remember getting really drunk once, while listening to the heartbreaking and tedious break-up story of a blond, blue-eyed soul singer while his manager, who had orchestrated the foursome outing, was unsuccessfully trying to land his pudgy paws on my best friend. I grew so bored that coke and rum seemed the only way to get through the night. The next thing I remember is lying in bed (mine) at the back of our cold -above-the-Northern line ground floor flat praying for the ceiling to stop moving and making a pact with god I would never drink again and, by and large, I stuck to my end of the bargain.
So now, more and more frequently, I don’t know what to do with my forgetfulness. Take this morning: I park my car at work, walk to my office and ease into my day until nearly two hours later my trusted assistant manager peeks his head through the door and asks me if I am missing anything. Uh? he is holding my cell phone which, together with the newspaper, I left on the roof of my car (not my first time) – a security guard spotted it when the damned thing wouldn’t stop ringing. I would be watching tv and stare at an actor whose face I have known for 20 years and couldn’t, for the life of me, remember his name – it might come back 30 seconds or a day later. I will stop mid- sentence searching for a word and finding only the Italian equivalent if I am speaking English and vice versa. And forget (literally) the million things I would forget to do if I didn’t write them down.
I am trying to be positive and discard Alzheimer at my tender age. A brief and not terribly well researched research informs me that our brain is genetically wired to remember things – some of us are better than others at jotting our memory banks. In my case, as years go by, I feel like my head is so full of facts, faces, random information, endless lists of to do things that the archivist in it is having a hard time keeping the filing system updated. There are piles of notions and tasks stacked on the floor of my brain, waiting to be inserted in their proper drawer.
Mercifully, at work, I am surrounded by people who, gently, remind me of what it is I am supposed to do or who it is I am supposed to meet but at home I am juggling three e-mail accounts, shopping lists, phone calls to return, repairs to be made, an appointment calendar, a blog – let’s face it, I am still of the generation who grew up with pen and paper and thought the Filofax was a magnificent technological innovation. No one believes me when I say that in first grade I used a quill and the desk had an inkwell. Cross my heart. And after all that my calligraphy still sucks.
I am carrying on a love affair with my Mac and I could never ever give it up but sometimes I long for the rotary phone so if someone called and the line was busy they would have to try again and my Filofax still lives on my desk. Just in case my brain has a complete meltdown.