Day 17 – Writing 101: Today we’re to write about something that scares us, what do we really fear? The twist: Write in a style you’re not used to, maybe even uncomfortable with writing. So, I’m going Gonzo style journalism. I’m wondering how to do this considering my fear isn’t something I really have experienced recently, but it’s worth a shot. It’s fictional, with pieces of frequent conversations mingled throughout. It is just a fear, I don’t actually think there is a problem. Really didn’t want to do this one, but if I want my blog to be a safe place for everyone to tell their story, I can’t in good conscience hide my stories, can I? Here we go.
“Did you remember to drop the books off at the library on your way in this morning?” My wife sounded annoyed. She had that yes-you-forgot-and-now-the-books-are-late-how-could-you-forget-again tone underneath her usual I-love-you-to-death sweetness.
I held the phone’s receiver pressed to my ear and tried to think. What books? Was I supposed to drop off books at the library? Which library? Is she sure that was today?
“They’re still here on the counter. I put them there next to your stuff so you would see them. Remember? Last night, we gathered up all the books that were due?”
Then it clicks, and I sigh, and then she sighs, and I say I’m sorry.
“It’s OK, you just need to remember things like this.” Full sweetness returned without the annoyed undertone.
“I know, I’ll try.” I told her. We talked a bit about her day so far, said our I-love-yous, and hung up the phone.
The day passed quickly and I went home. There was something I needed to do on my way home, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Must not have been that important. Unfortunately, the afternoon passed as quickly as the day. My wife and I played with the kids, listened to their stories about legos and books they were reading, ate dinner, played one more game, and got them ready for bed.
Finally, my wife and I sat down to enjoy a quiet evening.
“Did you get tomorrow afternoon off?” She asked with her head leaned on my shoulder.
“Tomorrow?” I ransacked my brain again, but whatever was supposed to be there didn’t leave a forwarding address.
“I have my doctor’s appointment. You’re going to come home to be with the kids. Remember?” She raised her head and looked me in the eye. She had that ‘again?’ look.
Ah, there’s the memory. It was tucked away in the corner where I normally don’t look. “Right. No worries. It won’t be a problem.”
“Are you sure?” I don’t think she was sure if I would remember.
“I’m sure.” I hope I remember.
The evening passed. We watched something relatively mindless and talked about something that she told me we had talked about a couple of times before, but I don’t remember them. There was a lot of sighing from her.
I took a shower and got ready for bed. My reflection stared back at me as I brushed my teeth, and I didn’t like it.
“Are you really that selfish?” It asked me.
“No…I…” I couldn’t answer it. I didn’t know. I never thought of myself as selfish, but with all these little forgetting incidents I’m not so sure. Would I forget them if I thought them more important? Do I not think them important?
“It’s not just today. Remember that couple in church? You’ve met them, talked with them numerous times, and what happened the other day?”
My heart sank somewhere below the bathroom floor. I remembered what happened the other day.
“You introduced yourself as if it were the first time you’d ever met them.”
I stared at my reflection, and it stared back at me with all of its accusations. Selfish. Self-absorbed. Don’t-care-enough-about-anyone-else-that-you-can’t-even-remember-who-they-are.
But, I’m not, am I? Do I really care so little for others that I don’t even remember meeting them?
“If you’re not selfish, then you know what that means.” My reflection said with a solemnity that sent a shiver up my spine.
“No. I’m just forgetful. Perhaps a little more than what’s normal, but just forgetful. It’s more Absent Minded Professor than Still Alice.”