I forget what it’s like to remember

Burt's Eye View

I’m worried about my wife. She can’t remember anything anymore.

She’s much too young to have grown this forgetful. I mean, she’s only… her birthday is… I should probably look that up.

Anyway, the other day, I followed the coils of the garden hose through the yard to find water blasting out the end.

I charged into the house. “Terry, did you forget something?”

She scratched her head. Checked her pockets. Studied the ceiling. And rolled her eyes.

“If I forgot, how would I know?” she said. “By definition, if I remember something, then it’s not forgotten. If I forgot, I wouldn’t remember or it’s not forgotten. Remember?”

“Wait, what? Maybe if I wrote that down. Did you happen to see where I left my pencil?”

“Never mind. Just tell me what you think I forgot.”

“Yes, well…” I scratched my head. Checked in my pockets. Studied the ceiling. Let’s see, I was walking across the lawn… Oh, the garden hose!

“Were you watering flowers today?” I said.

“No. But I did have a bonfire going.”

“I didn’t see any fire.”

“Because I drowned the embers with the garden hose.”

“And then?”

She sighed. “I came inside to fix your supper. Which is what I’m doing right now. So why are you pestering…” Her eyes widened. She dropped the frying pan, and not in my direction for once. “Oh, no! Did I forget to turn off the water?”

I nodded. “You can’t remember anything anymore, can you?”

“I was on my way to the spigot when the cat got out and chased a rabbit. I had to catch it.”

“The rabbit or the cat?”

“Either one, really,” she said.

“Which did you catch?”

“Neither,” she said.

“So you left the cat outside?”

“Of course not. She came to the back door when she was hungry. I let her in.”

“All right, then,” I said. “I’m glad we had this talk. You can’t go around forgetting cats.”

I was on my way to my easy chair when Terry called me back. “So when are you going to buy that nozzle?”

“Why does a cat need a nozzle? Or do you mean for the rabbit?”

Terry sighed. “For the garden hose. You just came home from the hardware store and you still didn’t pick up the nozzle you’ve been promising the last six trips.”

I shrugged. “Why do we need a nozzle? Water comes out of the end of the hose just fine.”

“If the hose had a nozzle, water would gush only when I triggered it and we wouldn’t have a sloppy mess in the yard.” She huffed. “Thank you for turning off the hose, by the way.”

I gaped at this forgetful woman. “You left the water on? When?”

“This afternoon. You know, the whole big scene you just staged.” She stared at me. “You did turn off the water before coming inside to razz me about it, didn’t you?”

I scratched my head. Checked in my pockets. Studied the ceiling. “Um, listen, I need to run outside for a minute. Have you seen my boots? Didn’t I used to have boots?”

I’m worried about my wife. She can’t remember anything anymore.

— Jog Cole’s memory at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.

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