I am very rapidly losing my mental faculties. While the first suspect would be Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from that stint in Europe during which I happened to drink far too much to caution me out of consuming an unhealthy amount of McDonald’s mad-cowburgers, after consulting the internet, neither early onset dementia nor Alzheimer’s is out of the question. When I first became aware that I was becoming less aware I assumed it was just a head cold, resulting from an ailment no medical professional seemed able to pinpoint. But now I’m forgetting key pieces of information that I should not, under any circumstances other than impending cognitive failure, be forgetting. Here are some examples.
A month ago, I forgot my social security number. I had to enter this for purposes of a government certification, so I made a good college try while waiting for a flight in D.C. and entered what I thought surely it was. Half an hour later and ten minutes to take off, I knew I had gotten it wrong and had to re-take the certification test from seat 24B, using what was most definitely my correct social security number. Hours after that, somewhere over North Dakota, I realized both were wrong and after finally being in a position to verify with the card itself, I became seriously concerned, and had to retake that God damn test for the third time. Now, there are a ton of people who don’t know their social security number, so you might be thinking this isn’t a big deal. And if I hadn’t gone through four years of college with my social security number doubling as my student ID, that might be the case. Obviously, I attended college back in the lax days where privacy violations and identity theft were simply the hair-brained plots of Friday’s Lifetime Movie Network premier. Yep, back in those days, anyone was free to take my social security number and at the same time view my most excellent academic record of A’s and the occasional, but not prevalent, A-.
Then, about a week ago I forgot my office entry code. It’s a three-digit number that I have literally been using for years. And in this instance, my use of the term “literally” is correct, this code has been in effect since 2008. (That was a teaching moment, mis-users of the word “literally.” You’re welcome.) I guess this, too, wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I hadn’t used the code less than 10 hours earlier when locking up for the evening. Granted, when I did lock up I was “literally” shit hammered and high on Snickers bars. So there’s that.
A day after that, I walked out of the office for a meeting across town. Ten minutes later and finally at my car, I realized I forgot my purse and keys, and had to turn around. To make matters worse, the emerging sight of my car was not what prompted me to notice, instead it was trying to reach into my purse to give a bum change. The most ironic thing is that I never give money to hobos but had obviously forgotten this too. On my return to the office, I managed to pick up those items, but did not also remember the materials I actually needed for this meeting. In fact, these I did not remember until arriving downtown looking like a complete asshole who was apparently still drunk from … well, I’m sure I must have been. I can’t imagine what my boss and the meeting participants must have thought, and I mean that literally, because I have no memory of it and therefore cannot imagine it.
Finally, the nail in my soon-to-be-vegetable coffin. Just yesterday, I forgot how to use my windshield wiper fluid. I can’t explain what a complete blank it was, aside from relating the experience to George W. Bush attempting to play Scrabble. I’ve never actually seen this happen, obviously, but I think of it often as I struggle to win at Words With Friends (against People Who Are Not). At the precise moment I remembered I forgot, I had no idea what was going on and the worst part of this experience was realizing that after launching my high beams, both turn signals, wipers sans fluid, and cruise control, when I finally did manage to activate the wiper fluid, it still didn’t seem like a familiar action to me. In fact, while depressing the correct control, I was thinking “I don’t know if I’ve ever used this butto …” pssshhh … swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. At that moment, I felt like my brain had been forcibly and/or legitimately raped (not to be confused with statutory rape in which I might have had to pay for the brain-baby abortion out-of-pocket).
At one point I had an idea how to conclude this post but have long since forgotten. So, insert witty transition, direct readers to closure, and whatever comes next.