I have a recurring dream.
In it, I'm in college, walking down the street with my wife (who I didn't meet until after college) and Danny DeVito (who I didn't meet before or after college), feeling tall, when I suddenly remember that I signed up for a class, went once or twice, but have failed to go any more for the semester. And the final for the class is being held in an hour.
I can't really recall exactly what happens after that point in the dream - I usually wake up in a hot sweat, or a child kicks me in the shin. I consulted an online "dream analyzer" about my dream/nightmare, and it came up with one reason why I constantly imagine this scenario. It simply stated: You're nuts.
A distinct possibility.
But a more probable root is my penchant for forgetting things. It has come to the point that I forget so many things - appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, entire weeks, holiday seasons, my middle name - that I spend a lot of time worrying about what I've forgotten.
Every afternoon at around 3:30 p.m., my mind wanders through the same tired cycle.
"OK, mind, I don't like you and you don't like me, but let's work together for once and remember something that I'm sure we're forgetting," I say aloud to myself and anyone within earshot.
I then begin to think about what I possibly could be forgetting. Have I lost my checkbook today? No. Have I forgotten to pay a bill today? Of course. Am I wearing clothes? Yes - but what were you thinking? Was I supposed to pick up the kids from school? Uh oh. Was I? Okay, let's go down the list. Oldest child - no. Afterschool program. Second child - no. Also afterschool program. Third child - no. I think he's at child care. Fourth child - uh, ah, oh my, that's it. I have forgotten to pick up our fourth child. That poor baby, always forgotten, always getting hand-me-downs, always left out, always the last thing on my mind.
I get up and start to walk out the door to pick up our youngest, most neglected child. Then my mind finally decides to join in the exercise, and I recall that we don't have a fourth child.
So, the good news is: We don't have four children.
But I had to forget something. It is Monday, or maybe Thursday.
Did I forget my glasses? No. I remember losing them a week ago (They are small, round, and glassy. If you find something that meets that description, other than Liza Minnelli, please contact me on my lost cell phone).
Did I forget a meeting? Did someone tell me two weeks ago to meet them somewhere about something on some day? I bet that's what I forgot.
Did I forget something my wife told me to do? I don't think so - I would have received a reminder by now (she knows me). Do I have another wife that told me something to do? I doubt it. I can barely handle one wife. Even I'm not that dumb, from what I recall.
Should I be worrying about something I forgot that I can't remember? Someone - I forgot who - once told me that worrying is a sin. You should just present your worries to God and let him handle it. Now that I remember that, I'm worried that I'm sinning because I'm worried I forgot something. Good, another thing to forget.
Exasperated, I put my sweaty head in my hands. I then looked down and a sight jostled my old memory glands: I wrote down what I needed to remember. A ha! I'm a genius!
Unfortunately, I wrote this reminder on my hand, and the sweat from my forehead smeared the majority of my scrawl. The only part I could make out was "Write column about...," then it's just a blur of ink.
Hmm. Now, what was I going to write a column about?
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News.