In mid-October a dense fog rolled in like a briny mist, surrounding the city in its white breath, creeping into my head and wiping out the last thought I had. Hot swollen hands, burning knees and ankles cluttered my mornings, and I waddled around my apartment, as if each joint was bound in bubble wrap, trying to remember what I planned to do next. I stared at my computer screen like a deer in headlights, waiting for that flash of insight, my concentration lapsing in the face of my notes. I read my last typed sentence several times over, watching the words march like ants across the page and dropping into concealed holes in my brain.
We’ve all had memory lapses, but since the old lady arrived, my memory seems to be a bit foggy. I forget things when I leave the apartment, go back, and then wonder what I went back for; I forget why I’ve walked into a room, when only moments ago, it seemed I had a purpose. I put down my keys, only to wonder where they went. I’ve heard others talk about “the fog” and I brushed it aside just like the myth of predicting a change in weather through our joints. Are we sidetracked by the presence of the old lady? Does she devour our attention by her tedious pain and inflammation? Did I put my laundry in the dryer? Did I remember to pay my phone bill? Was I supposed to call someone? Where are my keys?
Wait a moment…what was I saying?
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.