I was stuck outside my house this morning between two doors. My own doors.
I was hit by a truck in 1991. As I fell, the back of my head hit the sharp edge of a low brick wall. Because of that, I cannot read books any more though, oddly, I can write them. But it has not really affected my memory. I think. Or do I mean don’t think?.. Whichever… You know what I mean.
I am getting on a bit and maybe my memory is getting worse. Who knows? I have always had a shit memory.
I think people who do not know me might believe I have a good memory. But that is because, since I was a teenager, I have always carried around a page-a-day pocket diary. It is usually bopping on my left thigh, in a pocket.
People used to take the piss out of me for this. Then Filofaxes got trendy and they were buying £80 or £100 designer ones which were not as useful as my £5 diary.
Yesterday, my friend Lynn and I went to see a recording of ITV’s Sunday Night at The Palladium. We have been friends for 40 years.
Maybe 15 years ago, I mentioned to her that I had worked with – but had not really known – Sylvester McCoy on the TV series Tiswas, but I had never seen him perform live on stage.
She reminded me I had actually gone with her to two separate West End plays he had appeared in about ten years before. I say she ‘reminded’ me. I had no memory of it at all.
A couple of days ago, she sent me an e-mail which said: “Off to London now – a Eugene O’Neill play at the Young Vic – Janie Dee is in it and I remember you raving about her when we saw her in something we had freebies for eons ago.”
I, of course, would have sworn blind I had never even heard of Janie Dee, let alone seen and raved about her in some previous play. This despite the fact she has had an illustrious career as long as Watling Street.
Yesterday, at the Palladium, I mentioned to Lynn that I had first met her partner (they have now been together for 25 years) at a London theatre when she introduced me to him at the back of some Upper Circle. She could not remember this at all.
I found that reassuring.
I have a visual memory. I can remember where people stood when I met them. But not necessarily their names.
Which brings me back to this morning.
My house has a self-locking inner front door and outer front door.
I went out, shut the self-locking inner front door behind me, put my hand in my pocket to get the keys to unlock the outer front door and I had no keys. They were locked inside the house. I was stuck in the porch between my inner and outer front doors. No way out. Or in.
My neighbour has spare keys. But she is out every Monday morning.
I live in Hertfordshire (NW London). My eternally-un-named-friend has spare keys, but she is in Greenwich (SE London). Lynn has spare keys, because she is the executrix of my will so is likely to have to dispose of my body when I die – but she lives in Brighton, on England’s South Coast.
Fortunately my neighbour was unusually in this morning.
I was released from my own porch.
I went to the station. Bought a tea and sausage roll. Went to get on the train. I had not picked up my sausage roll. I went back. Got the next train.
Life goes on.
With few memories.