I have never had much of a memory. Whether it’s because of some strange link to the dyslexia, or my age, or a B12 nosedive, or a gap left from certain harmless indiscretions of my younger days, my memory is not what it might be.

My grandfather could recall an address or a phone number 50 years distant from the moment of his experiencing it. Not me. There is a hole in my mental pocket. Things fall out of it easily. But not all things.

I have near note-perfect recall of music. Always have. I can remember faces for years after a one-time meeting—although the names escape me within minutes. I can remember passages and images I have written long ago…although remembering a note for the current book in the time it takes to close the notebook and type it into the laptop is a little more sketchy.

The notebook and tape recorder have been gifts to that shortcoming. No longer do I have to suffer that anxiety about forgetting a marvelous passage that hovers on the brink of loss while I find a place to pull the car over to search for pen and paper.

This precipitous decline in my memory is momentary. It’s hooked to some gland-swelling, tired-making nonsense I’ve been fighting off for a week, now. It’s been accompanied by a crushing episode of dyslexia. And not so charming, the increased difficulties in tracking a chapter’s progress from top to bottom. But I’ve been there before. And, in the words of the Immortal Monty Python, “It got better.” That’s why I’m not terribly worried about it.

My dear friend from Chicago days, Bob Sullivan, used to have notes everywhere. For everything. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had a reminder to himself that said “Breathe” or “Blink.” And this was in the days before the Post-it. I thought it was sweetly funny then. Now I think it makes perfect sense.

Ah, the wisdom of age.

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