Wednesday, December 05, 2012

So How Does This Go?

I was talking to Gloria last week (about her mom, I think), and the subject of Alzheimer's came up. We were going through the usual dark humor routine (a way that people give the finger to things that scare them), and I had a thought that had never occurred to me before.

Let's say that I was a tennis player and had played for decades. If I had Alzheimer's, I might not recognize my own family, but would I still know how to easily hit a tennis ball? Would my  muscle memory remain intact?

It's an odd thought, to lose the memory of so much of what made your life, but to be undiminished physically.

Memory has always fascinated me because it can be so strange. I go to a burger place near Eli's school called P. Terry's three days a week, because I hang out there for a while before I pick him up (I joke to Gloria that it's my satellite office). I wrote some code (on paper) while I was there last week to improve the field goal logic in GS. It was fairly detailed, and instead of writing it in my design notebook--which is where I write everything--I wrote it all on a loose sheet of paper.

When it was time to leave, I specifically thought to myself that I needed to make sure I didn't lose that paper.

By the time I got to Eli's school, which took all of two minutes, I'd lost it. I was very pissed off, because it was good code, and I forget things this way all the time. I have so many things in my head that it's easy for me to forget what I'm doing on my way to doing it.

Here's the strange thing, though. While I was sitting in the car, being thoroughly annoyed that I couldn't remember where I put a piece of paper only a few minutes before, I realized that I remembered all of the code. It was at least thirty lines, and I just wrote it out on another piece of paper.

Like I said, it's strange.

Eli 11.4 loves it when I joke about being old. We were playing in the cul-de-sac last week and I felt like I was a hundred years old as I chased after a ball. "Good grief, I'm moving like an arthritic turtle," I said. Eli started laughing so hard that he grabbed his stomach.

"If I fall and somehow wind up on my back," I said, "you need to flip me over. Otherwise, I'll die in the sun."

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