Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I thought I had a few good years left

Would you believe I haven't continued reading that stupid Cornwell book? Well, yes, you probably can. I finally gave up and turned to the end of the book to find out who the killer is. I know. I'm just like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally, minus the fear of commitment, the wit, the neurotic self-obsession, and the skill at imitating "white man overbite." Other than that, I'm just like him, though!

Recently, Miz S wrote about one of the most devastating effects of aging: Noun Loss. Her description was spot-on and, sadly, all too familiar. You see, I've been suffering in silence for several months about my struggle to pluck the noun I need out of my brain's word soup. Verbs and I play together nicely, and I'm still master of my adjective domain, but nouns and I? We're becoming strangers to one another.

For a person who makes her living with words, this development is upsetting, as you can imagine. Worse, it's embarrassing. I used to laugh, smug in the knowledge I'd never have this problem, when Kevin told me about common exchanges with his mom, which went something like this:

"Kevin, get the thing from my bedroom. It's under the thing."

"Uh, Mom? What thing?"

"You know! Goddammit, the thing. It's under the thing."

If I can remember what letter the word starts with, at least I can reel off several possibilities, as Miz S did when searching for "smoothie." Sometimes, however, the entire word is simply gone, with no clue as to what it starts with or sounds like. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted Kevin to give me the remote because he has no idea how to work it, and it takes him longer than three seconds to find the volume control, and with my patience issues, I can't abide the wait.

ANYway, I started with "Would you please hand over the . . . " and then went blank. I stared at the object of my desire, hoping its name would come to me, but nothing. In desperation, I mimed clutching the remote and pressing buttons on it, but apparently I'm not destined for success in charades because Kevin guessed "The lobster?? You want me to give you the lobster?" I'd like to point out that with a guess like that, Kevin's not about to take the charades crown, either. He's begun referring to the remote as "the lobster," which does amuse us. See? I can still laugh about my . . . uh, the thing that's wrong with me.