What If I Lose My Memory?

Which one is mine? I wondered as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror. Since there are only two toothbrushes at any given time in the toothbrush holder at home, you would assume a dilemma such as this being unlikely. But what do you know! Today I stood there unable to determine which one was actually mine. It’s not like both are of the same color and hence the confusion. Not at all. And thus you’ll understand why I was a little flummoxed at this. It was as though my mind went completely blank and I didn't know which one to pick up. Now as much as I love S, we don’t share toothbrushes. Honestly, I think, I was a little scared for a moment or two. Granted it was only about picking my toothbrush but how could I not remember? It should have been like a reflex action just like any other day but it was not to be.

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This is, however, not the first time when I experienced this; this feeling of my mind going completely blank about something. A few days back I just couldn't recall what a shower gel is called. I was ordering some stuff online. I knew I had to order a bath gel as well. But at that point, I just couldn't recollect its name. Later, I had to explain it to my friend by action, pretending to pour something on a loofah. And only when she said what it was did I actually remember. Go back a few months and I couldn't even recall that a curtain is called, well, a curtain. Sometimes I feel these are signs that one day I’ll, perhaps, forget everything. But that’s just the conspiracy theory loving side of my brain talking.

“No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.” ― Haruki Murakami

But these small incidents made me wonder what would happen if I truly forget everyone and everything one day. This thought, I must admit, is as scary as being left alone in a deep well with no prospect of anyone ever hearing my pleas. Losing memory is like being stranded in a sinking ship when you don’t know how to swim; clueless as to where that sole life boat is as well. Hence, this trivial yet baffling episode today filled my mind with so many what ifs.

What if one day I stand in front of the same mirror and fail to even recognize the reflection I see? What if one day I forget S or worse even, fail to feel what I do now for him? What if I forget the precious bond that my sister and I share? What if I lose all the wonderful memories of my childhood? With the door to my past shut will I still be me? Or, will I just be an empty shell, breathing but not really living? I’ll lose everything I hold close to my heart and not even know that I have lost something, something precious. Unsettling, this thought, isn't it?

 “Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” ― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Memories make you what you are in so many ways. I don’t ever want to misplace those pearls that have been sewn together to build my life. I really don’t. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. In fact, I know I’m being paranoid. But it makes me realize how dear I hold my memories as I’m sure you do too. The past, your memories, shapes your future. It should never be let go of.

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.” ― John Banville, The Sea

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