I Used to Know Your Name

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Alice

I used to know your name. It’s right there, dancing on the edges of my mind. It’s maddening, that dangling carrot of a thought being held just out of reach, a name that would feel familiar on my lips if only I could recall it.

      This hurts you. I can see it through the falsely strained smile. I can hear it beneath the carefully modulated cheerfulness of your tone. Your eyes are tired.

      I want to tell you that even though I can’t recall your name, I have all our memories. Your face is forever etched in my soul. I see you as a baby, a child, a parent with perfect clarity. I remember every bump and bruise. Those memories are a bit jumbled up and I can’t always see clearly but they are there, as is my love for you.

       I feel your anguish at this situation. Why you? Why me? The unfairness of it. The clumsy, muddling through this disease as it blurs and twists my most sacred thoughts and memories into a kaleidoscope of images, a tornado with no beginning or end. A place of waiting. A timeless place.

     I can’t remember your name, but I remember when you were sick and scared. I remember telling you to be brave. I am trying to be brave. This disease is not something that I am doing to you. I am not “being difficult”. I am struggling just to breathe as the lines blur between the world outside my head and the world within.

     Please don’t look at me with pity, eyes brittle with unshed tears and unexpressed hurt because your name eludes me. Know now that I love you, that I know you love me and when I forget my own name, remember it for me.