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Carl Wernicke: I'm Ready To Forget Aging


I’ve always been told that the so-called Golden Years are, well, golden. But as I creep increasingly near the senior citizen classification, some of what I’m finding doesn’t seem like gold. It’s more like pot metal.
   It’s bad enough that over the weekend I wandered all over the house looking for my sunglasses, only to find that they were on top of my head. Or that after several minutes of looking for my reading glasses, I found them hanging from the collar of my shirt, right in front of me.
   Then there are the numerous times I find myself picking something up to take it to where it belongs, only to forget it is in my hand. So I pick up a glass in the bathroom to take it to the kitchen, and when I get to the garden I discover that it is still in my hand. This is disconcerting to say the least, and I spend a lot of time wondering why I can be holding something but not realize I have it. And, of course, worrying that I can’t keep a simple plan in my head for more than about 15 seconds.
   Then, this morning, came the latest disturbing event. I was trying to leave for work, but kept having to go back into the house to get something I had forgotten. By about the fourth trip back into the house I was finally ready to go, but realized that I had the wrong car keys. This set off a frantic 10-minute search for the right keys.
   There are few things as unsettling as losing your keys, and after about 10 minutes a little panic was beginning to settle in; for all I knew I had dropped them under a collard plant in the garden or left them in the mailbox. At this point I decided to try thinking out of the box, so I went to my car … and found the keys stuck in the ignition.
   Now, you might think that this was reason to celebrate. But the larger problem was that I couldn’t even remember getting in the car that morning, much less sticking the key in the ignition. Had I left the keys in the car all night? Only later did I remember that I had gotten into the car and stuck the keys in the ignition, only to have to come back into the house to fill up my office peanut jar, which I had forgotten to take out of the car the last time I had returned home. And so when I went back inside to refill it and realized I didn’t have any keys on me, that was when I picked up the wrong keys, which set up the whole key search debacle.
   Anyway, when I started writing this I had a definite point to make on all this, but you won’t be surprised to hear that I just can’t remember what it was.