Fascination of creeping idiocy

Lately I’ve been thinking about how gaga old people, diagnosed or otherwise, so often seem happy, though not all, I know. A lot of them forget about the stuff that used to worry them and find themselves entirely in the moment, where things are pretty good. My maternal grandmother’s personality and disposition were vastly improved by senility.

So losing my brain doesn’t bother me at all, and in some ways I’m looking forward to it. Although I don’t like the thought of being far enough gone to be taken over by a superior force, either the commies or the county, not knowing and most of all not caring about much of anything sounds just fine with me.

I don’t feel like I’m losing my whole mind, just a part. I am losing my brain, though; at least that’s what I think it is. I’m as forgetful as most people I know, and now there’s another layer of lacunae that doesn’t feel like the usual short-term memory loss. Skills and facilities I’ve had forever are sliding away.

I’ve learned to appreciate forgetting things inside the house and having to go back two or three times before I actually go anywhere. That’s fine. I’ve been known to circle an intersection 2.75 times on my bike deciding if should go back yet again for something I meant to bring with me. That kind of exertion is at least aerobic and I enjoy it. But now I’m a slow thinker, too, and I’m not used to it. I don’t mind being retarded, like an engine—I can see how I used to miss a lot—but I used to be fast and I’m having difficulty adjusting.

Physical aging is easier for me to grasp. Even when I was 20, I could imagine being tired and even creaky, but I couldn’t imagine being stupid. Creeping idiocy is fascinating, let me tell you, except now I might not remember how to tell you, so you see the difficulty. I think that’s irony, but maybe not. I’ll get back to you.

In the movie Memento, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the main character resorts to having his body tattooed with the only information he’s sure of. Without a quest like his, that seems a bit much, but I’m not there yet so I’ll just hush.

Some people I’ve met are offended when I don’t know their names or sometimes even recognize them the next time I see them even if it’s only minutes later. I can’t imagine caring that some old fart doesn’t remember meeting me on the other side of the room 10 minutes ago. He’s just slow.