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.