Sunday, December 12, 2010

Losing my marbles...and my keys

I have always had a remarkable memory. Really. I could memorize whole plays in a single day. I once memorized two Shakespeare plays in one and a half hours (the length of my high school chemistry class). My memory is so good I actually put it down as a "special skill" on my acting resume.

Then I had a kid and everything that didn't have to do with her flew out of my ears. I forget if I have brushed my teeth. I can't remember if I drank that glass of water or left it upstairs. I ask my husband how his day was at least three times before I realize I've asked him. Worst of all - I lose my keys.

Oh I try to put them in the same place each time. When I get home they live in the same pocket of the diaper bag. When I got for a trip I always put them in my pants pocket when I lock up. And yet they are never there when it's time to open the door or start the car. They're in the bathroom. Or sitting on the stove. They hide under the baby blanket. Or they move into my shoe.

The other day I opened the car door with my keys. I buckled my girl into her carseat and then answered a quick phone call from my husband while I held my keys in my hand. I hung up, sat in the drivers seat and there were no keys. In the space of possibly two minutes my keys had disappeared. I got out of my car and looked in the back seat, in the carseat, in my purse, on top of the car, in the trunk. I even checked the ignition. No keys. I had them. I had to have. I opened the car with them.

Fifteen minutes of searching produced no results. I was simply too tired to keep searching and my brain was too full for me to even imagine where I put those keys. I could not get my mind to organize enough to do this simple task. I rested my head in my daughters lap and shrugged. We simply weren't going to be able to go anywhere. She shrugged too and grabbed my nose.

We stayed that way for twenty minutes. No useful memory flooded back. I couldn't retrace my steps. All I could think about was how soft my daughters hands were. As she grabbed my hair and bopped my face I could remember the day she first started using her hands, but I could not remember where I put my keys. I could remember three months ago when I brought her home in car for the first time. But not where I left my keys today. I could remember to the minute when she had last ate. But I didn't know where my keys, which had been in my hand less than an hour ago, were. I was losing my mind. And my keys. And now I was stuck in my car in the parking lot of a mall. I would have called my husband for help but I realized then that I didn't remember where I put my phone.

I used to have a really, really good memory.

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