Dumb and Dumberrer

Aug 7, 2006 by     2 Comments    Posted under: reflection

I used to be smart. As I age I feel like I’m getting dumber. I suffer from CRAFT – Can’t Remember a Freakin’ Thing.

I’ll get up off the sofa and go into the kitchen then forget why I came into the kitchen. I read things, like pharmaceutical monographs, or a paper on object-oriented programming, something I would once instantly grasp, and have to re-read certain paragraphs or worse, read them aloud to myself before they sink in.

I start to write something but my mind is going so much faster than I can type or write, that I forget what I was trying to say. For example, let’s say I’m writing the directions for baking an apple pie. Well, as I’m describing how to pare the apples, my mind is thinking about an article I once read about apple varieties, which then gets me thinking about branch grafting, which leads me to think about how in China they put little paper bags on the apple blossoms so that when the fruit grows it is protected against the polluted air so that their apples will meet the food safety standards for exportation, which leads me to think of how a plant absorbs nutrients from the ground and how, if the air and soil in China are so polluted then their apples, shucks, all their produce must be tainted with toxins and heavy metals, then I think about what the daily consumption of toxic produce must be doing to the bodies of over one billion people. Before you know it, instead of writing a simple apple pie recipe, I’m penning a treatise on the benefits of organic farming techniques.

I’m not sure if it’s that I’m getting dumber but that my mind is going in too many directions at once. It’s like the neurons in my brain start firing all at once and catch like a brushfire. Sometimes I wish I had a USB port in the back of my head so I can download all the stuff that runs through my mind to a hard drive so I can digest it later or save it for future reference.

My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and now my mom does. One of my biggest fears is that I’ll end up like Anthony Hopkins’ character in the movie Proof.

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  • I haven’t seen “Proof” yet, though it’s on my list…

    My life and house run on Post-It notes; on the VCR’s, the bathroom mirror, the door to the audio cabinet; without them I could never keep track of everything. The shopping list gets started when we get done shopping for this week because there’s always something that was forgotten even though it was on the list!

    My mind also does those link-ups of things…your apples made me think of Virginia Woolf describing the draping of muslin over the trees in “The Waves” to keep the wasps away from the fruit.

    My new cell phone has more memory than my first computer. Someday I’ll be able to plug an SD chip in behind my ear…

    :o )


  • I had a Casio device back in the early eighties–a forerunner of the PDAs–and it had 84 KB of memory–a miracle!!

    That’s not even a Word file today…

    And I think as my cyber-memory capacity grows, my flesh-and-blood memory capacity is shrinking. I had a meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 10 which was rescheduled to Thursday at 2; I showed up Thursday at 10…I was half right!