A guest post by writer and teacher Kay Stowe:
When the alarm rang, I remembered I had an appointment before work. I scuffled into the kitchen to start the coffee pot and checked my calendar.
Nothing written there, but I was faced with a neon pink sticky which means I had already forgotten one appointment with my doctor and had moved to sterner measures of memory enhancement. I left in a whirl, forgetting to turn off the coffee pot.
Stepping out of the car at the diner, I forgot my phone wasn’t in my pocket. Thus, it was in the mud puddle. Breakfast was pleasant, and I drove to the doctor’s office, so proud pulling into the parking space at exactly the perfect moment. I even had time to make the bathroom break that a woman of my age always needs to build into her schedule.
I hopped out of the car smiling, hit the button to lock the door, slammed the door shut, and as I started to walk away wondered, “What is that noise?” It was, of course, my engine running, keys still in the ignition. I called for assistance, and a very kind man showed up 15 minutes later and helped me out, or more precisely, helped me in.
“I thought these cars were supposed to be idiot proof,” I quipped. He dryly replied, “They are.” As he drove away, I stepped back out of my car and closed the door only to realize the engine was still running. I had forgotten to retrieve my keys from the ignition once again. Thankfully, I had also forgotten to roll up the window. I walked into my doctor’s office only 20 minutes late.
When I returned to the car and checked my mirrors, I saw I had two different earrings on. They felt the same, and both were gifts from my dear friend Suzi, but not from the same pair. Surely, this was conclusive evidence that I should go home and not venture out again.
“This is one of those days that the pages of history teach us are best spent lying in bed,” said Uncle Willie in The Philadelphia Story. THAT I can remember. I may remember every line of that entire movie, but I forgot to get gas when leaving town. I also forgot to stop by the restroom.
I drove along seeing all the old log barns, the beautiful blossoms of Spring, and one wild turkey standing in the middle of the road refusing to move. I became entranced, and forgot to stop at the first gas station I saw.
By now, I had to stop. It didn’t matter where. The car’s “empty” light had been on for almost 30 miles, and my full light was on. I spied a corner store that was not a gas station, but they did have a restroom. Hallelujah. It was not incredibly clean, but I was on the road and a few miles later found a gas station.
All I could think as I continued to work, was, “I hope I make it through this day.” I was teaching “like terms” in my math classes, so decided to keep the mismatched earrings on as a “media presentation” for my class, pretending I did it on purpose. Lucky for me, math hasn’t changed since I learned it 30 years ago, so teaching is a breeze. Now, if I could only remember why I am standing in the living room tonight at midnight, my life would be complete.
Memory lhasa apso, no ipso facto, no true actuality, no actuarial science, no scientific labs, no babies’ laps, no MENTAL LAPSES. That’s it. I remember now. I was going to tell you about mental lapses. Too bad I can’t remember what I was going to say. I think it had something to do with building a model of the human brain out of Legos, but I have no idea why.
Kay Stowe lives in Mebane, NC in a log cabin in the woods and teaches/tutors math at Piedmont Community College. She is also a talent manager for professional storytellers, comedians, and musicians: http://kayjonesstowe.com