Monday, September 6, 2021

Gone With The Wind

 I ran into an excellent round of golf yesterday, out of nowhere. I can, but won't, tell you of each swing, the break on each putt, the score, hole by hole. Inch by agonizing inch.

But, ask me who I played with, spent four hours swapping stories with, had lunch with, and I barely recall. Not that they were forgettable. Merely that my power of retrieval is, to be kind to myself, akin to a three putt on every hole. For you non-golfers, that means pathetic.

My mom suffered from dementia, robbing her of the last decade of her life, resembling the person I knew in body alone.  I understand that none of us, or at least most of us, aren't firing on all cylinders as we move towards the finish line.  But I wonder if the road I am traversing is leading to the dark place where my mom resided those last terrible years.

A few of my friends are wobbling, some around the edges, others taking occupancy wholly in the eye of the storm. I have no clue as to what precipitated their fall, as but a blink of the eye last, we were all vibrant, all free from mental blemish, at least from where I stood and peered in. There was no warning sign, no flashing lights.

For years now, I have been hard pressed to remember names, sometimes even of those with whom I have shared air on more than just the occasional occasion. When being in position to introduce A to B, I merely stand there awkwardly, waiting for A to recognize that the dead space meant I was unable or unwilling to perform the task I was implicitly assigned.

The title, or even the plot of movies I just watched. Forget about it. Literally.  Names of actors. You know, the one who starred with that other famous one in the film about...  Everything becoming a description, each person and even many things losing specific designation. It is what you utilize to turn a light on or off. Oh, you mean a switch.

My wife will ask me to do something, anything, for her. And yes, I am that cliche kind of husband, with what is generously referred to as selective hearing. But it is much more than this failing. I will walk upstairs, intent on accomplishing my task and, seconds later, return from where I started, having completed nothing more concrete than the exercise comprising the climb and descent.

Is there fear in all of this? Resignation? Inevitability? Denial? Some of all of the above. Most often all of this is but a faint noise in the background, something to be ignored. Something happening to other people on their planet. Not mine. Like the way some consider climate change.

And if it is happening to me, what can I do about it? Given my propensities, my response will be, at best, muted. At worst, merely writing these few words and leaving the next chapter as a blank page, to be filled in by forces acting upon me. As though I was disassociated with the event.

If you were wondering, yesterday morning was spent with Paul, Larry, Hank and Rusty. On my best days, I can tell you not only each of my swings, but most taken by the others who wander aimlessly for hours in my company. Not that you would ask.

Just don't make me repeat their names again a few minutes from now. Like that old classic starring the guy with the big ears, that information will likely be Gone With The Wind.


Bruce said...

Anyone who can write an articulate and well organized column like this does not suffer from any style of memory loss. Happy New Year.

Harvey F Leeds said...


I talk to the wind!!

Ken Hurley said...

Glad you play golf! I enjoy what you write. Now, please give Joanne a hug. Remember, please give Joanne a hug. - ken. (Don't forget!)

Anonymous said...

Your pearls of wisdom, depth and humor are still flowing like a crisp, cool and endless river. You haven’t lost a thing!
However, you have just identified that which happens to me daily so I’m overjoyed to be in such clever and “with it” company!!


Anonymous said...

You've just joined a very large club


Anonymous said...

Read your blog you have a classic case of what we medical professionals call
CRS can’t remember shit!!!
Welcome to the club!!!


Anonymous said...

love reading your stuff every day


Eileen said...

You are a member of a very large crowd-you are cognitively intact. The way I see it, my hard drive is full and don't sweat the small stuff like who starred in what movie. I just ask Ms. Google who has all the answers.