I was born senile. When I couldn't find something, my mother would tell
me to retrace my steps.
Last year, I helped a neighbor mount solar-powered lights along a fence.
Last week, she phoned. She wants to put up more. She wanted to know
how many brackets and screws were left over.
I told her I remembered the lights but had no memory of brackets or
screws. She asked if I remembered where I'd put them. When she
described the brackets, I vaguely remembered them, but I couldn't
remember who had put them away.
I went to her garage and saw the case with the drill I'd used. Near it,
I saw a rolling tool chest about 4 feet tall. I remembered a certain
drawer. I opened it and found the pack of brackets and the pack of screws.
I'm like Hansel and Gretel. I need a trail of bread crumbs to find my
way home. I was stumped, standing in front of the hood of my car. I
was like the kid who knows all the answers in class but draws a blank on
the test. Because I took a walk, coming back and wanting to open the
hood was retracing my steps. Everything fell into place.
I don't remember what the latch release looks like because it has been a
long time since I bent over to look; I just know where it is and reach.
If I bent over to look, I'm sure I'd remember the sight very well.
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