Monday, January 06, 2020

An Essay on the Short Term Memory

As I age I pride myself that one of my first memories 

brings forth a picture of a small child in sagging sleepers,

 standing in her highchair, wailing for her mother

 (who is just on the other side of the screen door,

 hanging out diapers on a long clothes line).  

My pride stumbles a little now

as I pause in bewildernment 

outside the pantry door

 - now why am I here?

What did I come for?  

I shall go back to the kitchen, 

and when I remember what I was doing 

I will surely remember what it is

 I went to fetch from the pantry shelves!!!!

Alas, my short term memory leaves much to be desired.....

The contents of the vegetable crisper is there to attest to that fact!!!

I remember that a few days ago my youngest son

 retrieved a mouldering yellow object from amidst its depth

 (I use the word 'object' 

because it is taking me a while 

to recall the name of this round vegetable -

of yes, of course, it was a SQUASH!!!  

which I had bought on my last foray into the grocery store, 

imaging it with butter and brown sugar, 

broiling in the oven. 

The image was still with me when I placed it in the crisper

 amongst the apples and red peppers,

but once the door of the fridge was closed, 

and I turned around, probably to pour myself a cup of coffee,

 the yellow squash might as well have been orbiting the earth 

in some far off space....

Writing this has reminded me of what else might be hiding there,

 and I went to look and found a cauliflower, 

just starting to have little black spots 

(but luckily still retrievable. 

I shall have it for supper,.

- if I leave it out on the counter where it is quite visable!!!  

If I ever close the crisper  

it is liable to be a companion 

to the apples and pepper forevermore!

This morning my daughter and I had a conversation 

about a prescription the doctor had given me, 

and what it was for. 

As anyone who has ever had a prescription will know, it was quite unreadable! 

I was inclined to be a little defensive, 

as I had really forgotten

 if it was a medication for my stiff neck, 

or a prescription for blood pressure pills. 

When one finds oneself in that situation with a daughter 

who is supposed to have an all-wise and caring mother, 

it brings on a bit of a morbid recognition 

of who is most in touch with reality........

Well, I am sure there is some chemical reason

 for this total recall of sitting around on the sidewalk,

at the age of three,

 discussing which fruit is best

(the apple, the orange or the banana) 

with a couple of toddlers 

whose mother was having tea with my mum, 

and the utter and total  forgetfulness

 of what you had for breakast this morning!!!!!

If I were to research the subject 

I am sure I could tell you more, 

but I have grown quite bored with it all, 

and have forgotten why it would make an entertaining blog post, 

so I guess I will go and read a page or two

 of Alexander McCall Smith and his Peppermint Tea book, 

- pages that I will probably have to read over again

the next time I pick up the book...

And maybe I will pour myself

a thimbleful of apricot brandy

to comfort my memory.