I must have the shortest memory in the world.*
Not until I nudge my left leg into action, not until I swing around and try to sit at the edge of my bed (as I do every morning), and not until the soles of my feet are planted on the floor and I stand up do I remember. Similarly, not until I pull myself up and out of the pool does the reality hit me like a dull and bony chunk of lead suddenly re-planting itself in my backside, perpetually repopulating the length of my left leg with its irksome offspring.
Which is why, in the late evening and early mornings, still lying in bed, my plans for the day (and future) kick into overdrive. More times than not, my mind will spin with all the places I want to get to, the errands I want to finish – market for fruit, yoga, bank, supermarket, lunch, take photos at one place or another, etc. I rarely insert the word ‘rest’ into those moments of planning – even though it’s arguably one of the most necessary parts of my day. Then, come sunrise, come morning, come… THUD. Dammit, I forgot. What was I thinking?
I forget every time I’m at the supermarket, that I can only carry so much, that I have to figure out what is most essential, that if I want the rice milk, well that pretty much leaves out anything more than a couple of small yogurt cups (or do I get the oatmeal and rice crackers instead?) – and only if I’ve not brought my camera along.
I forget whenever I walk up to the organic market in Penestanan (often after an early morning swim) and drool over the produce that Djoko sets out in baskets and boxes, the greens, reds, oranges, assorted fruits and edible flowers calling my name… and my weight-manageable bounty ends dwindling down to a paltry box of strawberries and small package of carrots wrapped in banana leaves.
I forget also, when I go to the morning market in town (where the locals go), for fruit. They look at me funny when I say that I can only buy ½ a kilo of mangosteens and not that many bananas, too heavy I tell them “terlalu berat.” Maybe it’s not heavy for you, I often respond with a smile, but it is for me. They eye me skeptically – or suspiciously, can’t quite tell the difference.
I forget that I can’t carry a full coconut to save my life, so I ask the tree-climber to carve it open, lay it on the bench, then I squat in front of it and drink up all its thirst-quenching contents in one go.
I forget that when I head out for a walk, which somehow turns into a longer trek (and maybe visit), I must fit in some time for rest, because otherwise on my way home I’m likely to lose all energy, I’m likely also – even as my spine begins to cringe, my sacrum groans, my muscles and tissues begin to screech – to push myself to the brink of collapse… as I did a couple of weeks ago, on a patch of barely-green grass at the far end of my road, utterly unable to walk another step.
And then, for a few hours, maybe a day (like today, after I did I-don’t-know-what in yoga class), I’m… grounded.
In fact, I seem to be living my own version of Groundhog Day (the movie) – suffering from an infernally endless time loop. Every day starts like the one before, every morning, the perpetually-recurring memory loss takes over: what, this again?
Oh how soon, how quickly I forget…
*Caveat: With respect, this posting isn’t in the least meant to trivialize the predicaments facing those who struggle daily with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s just my own bizarre experience with memory.