I used to be able to screen my thoughts before I forgot what I was saying
There was a time in my life, when every thought I had I believed to be important and worth remembering. People told me their deepest darkest secrets (at least that was my impression). Like a Swiss Guard protecting the papacy I vigilantly watched over the tidbits of their lives. Whenever I heard even a whisper of the secret from another person I dismissed the assertions as rumors and redirected the conversation. It would crush my overzealous spirit when I would hear the secret made public and found out I was not the only confidant.
Somehow over the years I have gained a reputation as a blurter. My inability to screen my words before they are out of my mouth has landed me in a whole lot of trouble. I dread the phrases "between you and me," or "now don't tell anyone" or "this is not for public knowledge." Recently I had a parallel conversation with my mother. We were talking about two different secrets and I was half way through sharing the details of my story before I realized she was talking about a different matter entirely. Once we both noticed our conversation was not on the same topic, at all, I told her to pretend I never called and hung up. To take care of damage control I then called another family member to complain about my mother's failing memory. That was not a proud moment for me but I could not admit that I was the cause of the cat not only jumping out of the bag but running up a tree and requiring a firefighter rescue.
The good news for those that are still calling to confide in me is that my memory is shot. The bad news is that my memory is shot. There was a movie a few years back where the main character tattoos his body with messages. He has short term memory loss and every day must try and figure out who he is by reading the tattoos. I have taken to writing on post-it notes and journals in an attempt to chronicle my own diminished mental capacity. My small house is littered with blue, green, pink and yellow notes with one or two words to jog my memory. Unfortunately, I need bigger post-its since I am often at a loss when it comes to deciphering the cryptic messages. Eventually I just gather them all together and make a nice collage on the bulletin board.
My advice to family and friends contemplating sharing a secret with me is to reconsider this action. I would never willingly reveal a secret but I think killing many brain cells in my youth has left me with just a few very lazy cells that appear incapable of stringing together coherent thoughts ("hey man, what was I supposed to say? oooh look potato chips...cool hat dude...your wife hit your car.") I apologize for my blurt reflex in advance of any moment I may ruin or domestic quarrel I may cause.
P.S. I would get to the point of this blog post if I could just remember the topic.