|What have I become? Source|
That was once my mantra. My identity. I was the keeper of the past. I knew who went out with whom, when, and in what order. I kept track of times, places, dates, birthdays, anniversaries, and esoteric holidays that we made up between classes that everyone else forgot. "Happy Cornbread Cult Day!" I would say as I showed up with a plate of the stuff. I would receive blank stares in return. "Don't ya'll remember? We decided that April 30th would be Cornbread Cult Day?" Everyone thought I was a weirdo, but they weren't going to refuse my famous Cajun Cornbread. These are the things that supplied a good deal of my angst as a teenager.
So what happened? Now, it seems, I remember nothing. I go through days as though in a fog. Birthday cards pile up waiting to be mailed months after their due dates. I buy things and then lose them. I then buy replacements and lose them as well. Eventually, I might find all of the items at the exact moment after I've bought and used a second round of replacements. I forget about bills, appointments, and a myriad of very important although mundane things.
Yesterday, I forgot to take That Sprout back to the doctor to follow up on her TB test. Hopefully, I can bring her in this morning and it will be fine. All they have to do is look at the test area and tell me that she's fine. I walked around in circles all day yesterday wondering what I was forgetting. I knew there was some essential bit of house work I was supposed to do, but what? I also knew that I was feeling really low for some unknown reason. I fought it off as long as I could, but I found myself breaking down in tears in the Target Pharmacy because I felt guilty about having Zaxby's for lunch. While that was less than ideal, it did not warrant the tears I found myself fighting for the rest of the day.
By the time I got home it was close to quitting time for j^C and I realized I hadn't started dinner either. I had just sat down at the computer to look for a quick chicken recipe when he pulled into the drive. He got off early. It was then that I remembered the essential piece of housework I'd neglected: I was supposed to clean off my dresser so that we could hook up the PS3 in the bedroom. Shit. I begged off for another day, and started dinner still in a foul mood. I was sad and I didn't know why I was sad, so that made me mad. I knew it could have to do with PMS or whatnot, but that explanation just didn't cut it. After dinner and some quality time with the family, I went to bed fairly early and tossed and turned all night.
This morning, I realized what the sadness was about. I was lying in bed half awake and in a moment of clarity, I remembered. Yesterday was Heather's birthday. When we were kids, this event was usually marked by a sleepover at her house full of scary movies and press on nails and all her friends who seemed to merely tolerate me. I was a year younger, but between March 3 and May 2, we were the same age. I always liked that. For a little while I was one of the big girls. I wanted so bad to be older and to fit in. Now, I'll always be older than her. It feels strange realizing that. She's going to be 24 forever and I'm just going to keep getting older before I die.
Someone I used to love once told me that my mind is so preoccupied with the larger goings on of the universe that I can't be expected to remember the mundane. He said this after buying me my fifth replacement gas cap. I think about that statement a lot nowadays. Even though my mind forgot to remember Heather yesterday, I don't think the rest of me did. I might forget bills and chores but I remember the important things. I remember how I always thought she smelled like magnolias and gardenia and how long and pretty her fingernails were. There's a lot more than that, and maybe I'll write about it some day. I want her sons to remember their mom like I do, but I can't do it today. It hurts too much to remember right now.