At my advanced age, I am entirely too aware of the consequences of losing one’s memory, and so I try to keep some activity going in the brain pan whenever possible: I balance the books before I hit the calculator, and I avoid vegging out in front of the tube.
Once in a while, though, I get sent off into a remote corner of the memory bank quite involuntarily. Yesterday I was shuffling through entirely too much paperwork and a surname somehow landed in my field of vision, a surname that matched up with someone I had (slightly) known.
She was then close to my age now, and she’d come to work for us briefly. She’d been married, but apparently he decided he was entitled to someone younger and/or prettier and/or something else I’d just as soon not know.
If you think no other man wants her,
Throw her away and you will see,
Some man will have her before you can count,
One, two, three.
I summoned her image from the dusty archives just this side of my ear. Weirdly, or maybe not so weirdly after all, that image was built upward from the floor: long, narrow (but usually not pointed) shoes, a decent pair of legs, a hemline careful to offer no invitation, ditto on the neckline, a slightly twisted smile, and hair that had stopped somewhere between yellow and white. I was, for a moment, impressed that I’d recalled that much, inasmuch as we’re talking the last century here.
And then I glanced down at the paperwork again. By Thor’s second-best mallet, the full name was the name of her ex.
I thanked Mr Tex for his time, and went back to work.