You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
“The only thing faster than the speed of thought is the speed of forgetfulness.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
It happened again – ending up in one more embarrassing episode.
Before that, over to some flash back. Once I was introducing a new teacher to our staff. I had already started from one end when I caught sight of my friend, one of the senior teachers, sitting at the other end, to realize with horror that I could not recollect her name! I had two options before me – either avoid her or ask her name secretly. The consequences of both would have strained our relationship. I frequently glanced at her as I nervously performed my duty, giving myself enough time to rake through my brain. Thank God, by the time I reached her, the name struck me and I heaved a sigh of relief.
That was eight years back. Now my system is older and thereby slower.
The latest setting is the dentist’s office. The doctor was concluding the third session discussing the fate of my teeth. There came the fatal question. ‘Which toothpaste do you use?’
BOOM! System error!
In the next moment my screen went blank, as if under the ambush of some unknown bug. What is the name of the toothpaste I use every day?!!
Desperately I enabled my search engines, though, as it always happens during emergency situations, the operation was annoyingly slow. I could visualize everything – the tube of toothpaste among my toiletries, the colours on it, the racks which displayed that brand at the supermarket, its ads on TV, the gift hamper of the same product we got recently… but strangely everywhere its name seemed blurred. What a catastrophe!
I prayed for a miracle – let the phone ring, or let someone knock at the door, or at least erase the question from her!
The doctor might have read my thoughts before she asked, ‘Is it the name of your toothpaste that you are trying to recall?’ Sluggishly I nodded.
I could hear my heart pounding surmising her thoughts – ‘Is this patient illiterate? May be she brushes rarely. No wonder her teeth are infected.’
‘You do brush every morning, eh?’ What can be more humiliating to a person who prides herself in the amount of time spent daily on dental hygiene? Even though I said I do, from her mischievous smile I inferred that she hadn’t swallowed my word as such. You can rightly forget the name of any other product but that of your toothpaste, the first branded thing you take into your hands on any day.
The revelation that should have dawned on me heartlessly switched sides and unveiled itself to her. ‘Is that C*****?’ Exactly! Incredible! Oh Memory, this is not fair.
Short term memory loss has vexed me many a time during the exams. Straining my memory only worsened the condition. And once out of the exam hall, the misted answers would easily surface, but in vain!
But dear Memory, the current event is defamatory. Well, I will always bear this in mind, if you are generous enough.
I absolutely don’t believe in anything. Full stop. Including luck.