I hide the red and white checkers of my paper wristband under my folded arm, explaining to my coworker what I have done. Or rather, what I have not done. What I have not done was pick up the Australian intern from the airport as I promised. An hour and a half after her flight landed my roommate called me: “Are you still supposed to pick someone up from the airport?” He had just read an email I sent earlier mentioning my promise to pick the intern from the airport, and so I left the bar as quickly as I could, the smell of root beer on my breath as I drove to the office to check if she called looking for her ride. She has, twice, from a payphone, because, being Australian and in America for the first time in her life, she does not have a cell phone. I tell the interns what has happened: “I feel terrible,” I confess. “Well you should,” they say, helpfully. My coworker tells me not to worry, though, and so I go home, feeling guilty until she shows up at the office.
I am only 24 years old, and here I am, losing my memory. Well, I would be losing my memory if I had much of a memory to begin with. Unfortunately, I have always had trouble remembering. Interesting facts, important dates, names, faces: these things march into my head and before I can find them a place to stay they quietly make their way out the back door. I am like the absent-minded professor. Except I am no genius. And I never invented flubber.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, everyone forgets things. No one retains everything. To them I tell this story: I forgot my friend’s wedding. That’s the story, pretty much. Cleaning my room, I find the invitation to her wedding underneath a couple books and a bill for car insurance. I send her a groveling email. Fortunately, she doesn’t really care that I wasn’t there. But still, who forgets a wedding? Well, the absent minded professor, I guess. And me.