As a matter of fact, I lose them several times a day. I am the only person I know who loses her passwords as much as I do. It’s sad, really, that I can’t get into the discussion boards I value so much. Right now, I can’t get into the place where I have so many friends, people I love, people who love me, people I need, people who need me. I can’t access my only connection to them.

Perhaps my password will dawn on me later in the day, but it’s also possible that I will never remember it again. It scares me because I am more and more alone, isolated because I can’t remember. Deb tells me that friends have come to visit or that I have gone out somewhere, but I can’t remember.

In my imagination I sit in this room day after day. In my imagination I am alone and therefore lonely. In my imagination everyone has left; they’ve gone someplace more interesting. I don’t remember that they were here, that they touched me and laughed with me and talked with me. I don’t remember.

I remember working. I remember teaching. I remember my lovely students. I remember grading papers, going to meetings, dressing for work. In other words, I remember what it was like to be a professor. I was proud of my doctorate, proud to walk in the halls of a university. I remember all of that and I remember that I have lost it. Even as I write this, I am crying. I am crying because that’s in the present; it is sad.

My father is angry. He blames it on my memory, but I know that’s not the case. He is angry with me because I’ve told the truth. In my family telling the truth is against the rules. If we are good – my sister and I are not – we remember pretty lies. At this point in my life, though, I have no room for pretty lies.


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