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Monday, 23 January 2012

What Do You Do When You Find You're Losing It?

From William Weatherstone of The Diesel Gypsy

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Some time ago, a friend of The Elder Storytelling Place's own William Weatherstone sent him this article. His friend's name is Colin McKim and he was the Orillia, Ontario, Canada area writer for Huronia Sunday. Bill wanted to share the column with ESP readers and was given permission to print it here.]

As one grows older, the body is not the only thing that becomes incontinent.

I’m losing it.

I’ve always been a trifle absent minded.

But lately it’s been getting ridiculous.

Last week, I was heading down Peter Street and saw a police car coming the other way. Automatically, my right hand jerked up to check if my seat belt was angled across my chest. It wasn’t.

Looking down to grab for the belt, I realized I was on the sidewalk - but not in a car. I was walking. Not a good sign.

Later that day, I discovered a green dot the size of a dime at the base of my left thumb. I was at a loss to explain its origin. For all I knew it was a miniature crop circle. Tiny aliens might at this moment be climbing up my body toward my head, looking for signs of intelligent life.

They better hurry. I’m losing it fast.

Yesterday, I marched purposely from the kitchen, through the dining room and living room into the front hall where I pulled open a drawer full of toilet paper, light bulbs, scraps of wallpaper and other odds and ends. I stared into the drawer without the slightest idea what I was looking for. I tried a few other drawers without feeling any wiser.

All I knew was that I was in the general area of something that I wanted. But what?

I was heading back to the kitchen before I realized it was a newspaper tucked in my coat in the front hall closet I was after. Since I never hang my coat in a drawer (at least not yet), I can’t explain how I got off course and went down what I can only describe as a mental dead end.

Maybe those miniscule aliens are controlling my thoughts, compelling me to open drawers to satisfy their extraterrestrial curiosity.

Either that or -

I’m losing it.

And I’m not the only one.

My editor lost his identity for a month. As he explains it, he walked up to a bank machine, went to punch in the four-digit personal identification number he’s been using for years and drew a complete blank. The number had been withdrawn from his memory bank without his knowledge.

He decided to walk away from the machine, confident the number would come back to him soon enough. It didn’t.

He searched his brain in vain, trying to find the phantom digits. No luck. So, like a someone in a witness protection program, he was forced to assume a new digital identity.

Then a month later, he was in the car when the lost number unexpectedly hit him like a banded bird flying into the windshield. Now with two identities, he isn’t sure who he is.

Driving home a few nights ago, he became completely disoriented at an intersection he’s driven through hundreds of times. The light turned green and for a second, he didn’t know whether to turn or go straight.

As one grows older the body is not the only thing that becomes incontinent.

These days I find I can’t hold a phone number in my mind long enough to get it punched in. Somewhere between my eyes and my index finger I lose it, or part of it, which amounts to the same thing.

And then there’s the mystery novel on the bedside table. Now that I am losing it, I understand why they call them mysteries.

Opening the book where the book marker says I should, I can’t remember where I stopped reading the night before. Sometimes I have to backtrack for pages to find a familiar character or passage. Sometimes I even check the title to make sure I haven’t picked up the wrong book.

It’s the same thing with this column. I had the perfect idea for an ending that would have brought the whole thing full circle. But I forgot what it was.

Like I said, I’m losing it.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


William - This was great - and all too familiar!

Your friend, Colin McKim, is hilarious. - Sandy

Maybe we should have a contest about the scariest or funniest personal description of "losing it." Really enjoyed the column, probably because I can so closely identify with it.

As long as we have humor and smile no need to worry about if we loose it. we'll all be like Colin eventually. A wonderful story.

Very funny, but honestly, I was looking forward to reading something William.....?

For the past three weeks I've been looking for my dress shoes and wedding band. My shoes aren't lost nor is my wedding band. They are where ever I put them. I just don't know where that is.

On the other side of this coin, it drives me crazy when I get a certain something stuck in my head and can't get it out.

Ain't life grand?!

Boy oh boy, look at all these comments!!! What a nerve you have hit here William.
I can't remember what else I was going to say......

I remember once my MIL lamented about this to my husband, who assured her, "Mother, that happens all the time to everyone. It's nothing to get worried about."

"Well," she said indignantly. "You're used to it because you've been dealing with it longer!"

Well, if it weren't for forgetting what I was after and having to make two or three trips up and down the stairs, I might not get any exercise at all.

I clicked on browser to see what was happening here after a few days off line... laughed my nickers off,it is so true,and funnily enough I have just written a piece titled 'Losing It' for this page too. William has got it just right and it's reassuring that we can laugh at our selves. Now what was I going to do.. oh yes get on to uhm what's her name..you know ..damn ... our editor!

I found my wedding band today. Sure enough, it was right where I'd put it. If I can find a ring, I surely should be able to find a pair of shoes.

This was just too too funny. I am hysterical here trying to remember what I came to the computer for. LOL

Tell me about it.
Some few years ago my wife lost her passport. As we were due to travel we turned the house over in our search.
Anyway, we eventually found it in such a stupidly obvious place you could weep.
Now, whenever she "mis-places" anything I first ask her "Checked the freezer?" "Tried the fridge?" -- works like a dream!!

You all are just so terribly normal and just don't know it.

Join the crowd.

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