I was in a conversation about the movie, A Quiet Place, struggling to come up with the name of the actor who starred in it. Finally, it surfaced in my head and I shouted, “It’s John Kashablosky, or something like that.”
That addendum, “Or something like that,” is how I cover up my inability to remember a name. I can get close, sort of close, first letter in the name close, but not the correct answer. (Incidentally, the actor’s name is John Krasinski; he was Jim on the TV show, “The Office.”)
The, “Or something like that” affliction most always flares up when talking about actors and athletes, two groups I like to watch, but don’t really dedicate “name space” in my aging brain. I’m starting to prepare for a significant eruption of the affliction.
When the pandemic comes to a close, a new epidemic will start. I’ll run into people I haven’t seen for more than a year and I won’t remember their name. The section of my brain where names are filed is coated with rust due to lack of activity.
I might recall the first letter of the person’s name. Those files are separated from the name files in that blob between my ears. I use that tidbit of information to run through the alphabet in hopes of jarring off some of the rust.
In this new epidemic, I’ll stare at a person talking to me, with a blank look on my face, not hearing a thing he or she is saying. My mind will be going, A – Alan, Abe, Adam, B- Bob, Bill, Barry, and on through to Z. Usually, a lap or two will pry up the information.
Sometimes, I have the first letter wrong and have to go to other means to solve the mystery. Asking my wife or texting old buddies to ask them, “What is the name of the guy who used to live in the yellow house on Main Street, who was always messing with his lawn and gardens wearing bib overalls?” It probably won’t help; their brains will be as rusted as mine.
It’s a scary thing; the prospect of a COVID-19 induced memory loss. We’ll be a nation of citizens conversing without listening. A second wave of the condition will be experienced when we get home and try to tell our spouse who we ran into. I know my report will be reduced to, “Jim Snuckerson, or SOMETHING LIKE THAT.”
Comments, complaints? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.