I’m sure there is a more classical medical term for this.  My afternoon has been dominated by this superbitch of a screen and the very fluid thread of a story I started about three months ago.  But can I get back into it?  Can I construct the next sentence with the same assurance I felt then?  I cannot.   The muse has escaped – its sitting on top of the bookcase, just beyond my reach, doing its nails and ignoring me in the most studied and insulting fashion – I can no more drop back into this genre than I can base jump. (I know my limitations).

But – and here’s Oh What a But!  I’ve just remembered where I put the spare shed key – the one I lost three weeks ago!  Its in the pocket of my summer jacket and I don’t even have to test the theory:  I know its there!

This sort of recall is a frequent feature in my life.  I will drive away from home in the morning, only to forget, four or five miles down the road, whether I have locked my front door or left it wide open for every casual visitor, petty thief or opportunistic vagrant to enter.   So I turn around.  I drive back to my house.  As I turn the corner into my road I get complete flashback – photographic!  I see the key in my hand, remember how I held the latch up with my spare hand, how I turned the key.  I stop outside, and sure enough, my door is locked:  but now I am late for my appointment….

Sometimes, when my brain is being particularly unkind, it will have me re-visit a situation three, or four, or even five times.  I call this compound short term memory loss and it can take a number of forms:  There is single-thread compound memory loss; for example – if I extend the situation with the key – I will drive away again, having seen the door is shut;  three streets after which I will tell myself I did not actually try the door .   Therefore how do I know, beyond doubt, it is locked?   I go back, I try the door.   It is locked.  Three streets later I remember I did not actually check the back door…..

Then there is multiple thread compound memory loss.  This can become enormously complex, as in the ‘equipment I need for my day’ scenario.   I may decide I need my wallet, my credit card holder, my pen and my bank book for a particular expedition, and almost without fail forget one of them.   In going back for it, I will leave another component accidentally behind, and so on.   Its most dreaded form, the Lindemann variation, occurs when I fill up at the gas station, and saunter confidently to the till with my credit card folder, only to find that my card is not inside it.  I have left it at home on my desk.   On these occasions I have almost unfailingly bought sixty pounds worth of gas, and find I have only twenty pounds cash in my wallet!

Old age?   No, this has haunted me most of my life.   And speaking of haunting, I’ve just remembered my next sentence………

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