Saturday, July 3, 2010

Senility Strikes Deep

So I'm walking into Albertson's Market on Third Street this morning and see a familiar-looking young woman heading out.

"Hi, Jack!" she says brightly. She's with a guy.

I'm trying to remember her name, I'm drawing a blank while they stand and smile. I'm completely at a loss, I have no freaking clue, and I'm feeling flustered.

I know these people. Why can't I recall their names?

"Where do I know you from?" I blurt.

Polite laughter, like I had told a weak joke.

Fuck. I'm mentally scrambling, trying to find some graceful way to extricate myself from this mess. I notice that she is holding a couple bags, heavy-looking.

"Well, it looks like you have a big load there, I don't want to keep you waiting ... have a nice day!"

She laughs again, and says bye, and I walk into the store, puzzled and feeling like an asshole. Lost in thought, trying desperately to put a name with the face that I so easily recognized, I get halfway to the back of the store before it occurs to me that I didn't even pick up a shopping basket on the way in, and have to walk back to the door to get one.

Even now it's bugging me.

I hope she reads this and drops me a note to clear up my confusion. I hope she doesn't think I was being rude. Simpleminded or old-man-puzzled, that's okay, I can live with that. But rude, no.

Addendum: It just came to me. It was Isabelle Senger of High Desert Chamber Music and her husband. I gotta email her and apologize. 


  1. In such situations I usually just smile, wave, say "Hi1" and keep walking, as if I'm in a big hurry to get somewhere.

  2. Oh boy! That happened to me during First Friday Art Walk last evening ... not Isabelle of course, but another whose name I remembered as I was falling asleep! Too much of that free wine maybe?

  3. Just to be clear---dementia symptoms don't include forgetting the names of people (talented or otherwise) that you know. Throwing away the phone book is in the top 3 symptoms though. Being helpful as always ....


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