My husband is the “Ask Siri, Alexa” alternative; he can recall ancient battle dates, locations, current stock quotes, sports scores and rules, slope intercept form. He can recognize foreign flags, quote grain prices, recite Bible stories, describe World War II conflicts in detail, give medical/psychological advice, critique novels, iron perfect pant creases and baste a 30-pound turkey.
He is the master of logistically efficient errand running routes, thus saving time and mileage. His right brain neurons are fired like jet fuel. Mine were dead on arrival.
My brain is in my head; why is it aging right along with me? My husband does weekly crossword puzzles and cryptograms; I admire this dedication. Not my aptitude.
Did I take all my morning meds? Is today a dog walking day? Where is that post-it note list, phone number, invitation, book club book? I see the same people on the same machines exercising each morning and I struggle with names. Silently my mind runs from A to Z. Invariably, that doesn’t help; instead I mumble a vowel sound with a sincere nod.
I drink two cups of home-brewed coffee each morning; while tidying the house, making the bed, unloading dishes, answering texts, I put the coffee cup down and within moments can’t remember where I put it. I open the refrigerator and forget why.
When driving alone to limited locations, I remain in the right lane as I pass Monticello, Longhill, hospital, New York Deli to guarantee my route. I don’t want a personalized plate — lane changes baffle me and I don’t wish to announce “mature driver.”
I wonder, are memory coaches expensive? I own a reasonably priced watch that shows the date or day of the week. So far, I only need the date. Recently, I found it interesting that Holland America Cruise Line features a throw rug in each elevator naming the day of the week — a super idea! Staff change the rugs at midnight. Could I store seven rugs in the garage? “Mom, ask Siri.” “… Before I brush my teeth?”
Certain aging elements I know for sure: sleeveless days are scrubbed, ban belts, repeated routines reassure, born short, die shorter, reunions remind, joints jest, memory muddles, ears elude, eyes edit, teeth tarnish, shoulders slope, knees kink.
Do not ask how old I am. Everyone I see is younger. Unfortunately, this is not written in layers of embellishment and elaboration. I know my audience. Sorry.
Knowles is a resident of James City County