Castle Bisset

APRIL 25, 2018

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Sir Joseph's Secret Passageway

APRIL 25, 2018


My memory is shot. The only thing I can retain is water.

I don't know when it happened or how it happened, but it happened.

Last week I was trying to think of the name of the beautiful towering trees that make North Carolina gorgeous and pristine. I know this - I know I know this. Pine? No, North Carolina has lots of pine trees they weren't pine I was think of. Scotch? No.

We lived in North Carolina for over twenty years. Forgetting the name of those trees is like forgetting my own phone number.

They are well-dressed trees. I’m getting warm now. Fur, that’s it, fir. But what kind of fir? It is a two-part name. I can see the trees swaying in the wind, dripping sap on the car. Suddenly, all I can think of was the small Nebraska town where an old Navy buddy lives. What was the name of that town? Douglas. That’s it. Douglas fir trees.

It's like playing seven degrees of separation with my brain. Or is it six degrees of separation?

Names are the worst.

It's not that I can't remember them, I can – but often not until hours later.

I loathe going to Sears. Every time I walk though their doors I see someone I know. Not someone I can name necessarily, but someone I know.

“Hi there! How are you?” I know you. I know I know you, I just can't remember how I know you.

I run through the possibilities: Kid connection? You're somebody's mother, right? Did our brothers play football together? Are you one of my former classmates? I don’t think so. Do I know you from church? If I could just see the back of your head. I think we sit behind you.

The neighborhood? Are you that friend of a friend I met at a fundraiser last week?

The last time that happened, I could remember the guy's first name, but not his last name. But I knew it had something to do with windows. Sash, sill, double hung, single hung, horizontal sliding. Window pane. Payne? No, that wasn’t it.

I shot straight up in bed at 4 a.m. and yelled, “ANDERSEN! His last name is Andersen.”

As my buddy Les says about himself, “I have a mind like a sieve.”

Being a compulsive list-maker helps, providing I can remember where I put the list. No doubt it is with my car keys and my wallet.

Because my reading glasses sprout legs and like to play hide and seek, I keep a pair at my desk and a pair in the bathroom. When I can't find either of those, I put on the glasses that I allow myself to remove from my desk only if the bathroom pair has gone into hiding.

My sister Maryellen once gave me a pair last year at the VA hospital. We were there for my respirator's annual check-up and I needed to read some papers they gave me. Naturally, mine were home. Maryellen said she had a pair in her purse that she didn't use anymore. I could have them for a traveling pair. It was to nobody's surprise that I lost them within a day.

A few weeks ago I was once again at the VA hospital to get my respirator checked. Need I tell you that I found those glasses in the carrying case?

This morning I was wearing my desk glasses, I told the wife that I could not find my bathroom glasses.

“They're on the top of your head,” she said. I thought my head felt a little crowded, and it sure wasn't from memory cells.

When I started this column I had an ending in mind. Now that I'm here, I've forgotten it. Check back next week. Surely I will have remembered it by then.

Sir Joseph

Castle Bisset Editor

Famous People Editor


Contributions to today's Castle Bisset have been made by:
Sara in New Mexico
Lacey in Pennsylvania
David H. Roper

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