Hello there, my name is Gene. I’m your inner courier; the little man down here, or more correctly, up here in your psyche; a gofer; I go for this, and I go for that. Whenever you think of anything, no matter how trite, I am at the ready. Let’s say you are trying to think of your first girlfriend’s name. That’s my cue. I run to the mental filing cabinet in your psyche; quickly run my little fingers over the file marked: GIRLFRIENDS, PAST AND PRESENT. I spend a nanosecond poring over the vast file. “Ah,” I exclaim as I pull out the name and send it to the area of your brain required to post and expedite the answer.
That was then, this is now.
When you were eighteen, it was so easy; I was as young and energetic as you. I spent most of my time on my feet, little time to relax; the only respite I received was when you slept, which was often until noon on weekends. During your waking hours, I was busy running, sending, sorting and flying around your brain like a plastic bag in a wind storm. And, then you started to age. I know what it is to age, after all, I am as old as you. I have slowed down quite noticeably. I am now up here inside mostly sitting or laying down during the day, too tired to work steadily.
You awaken me with a start. “What was the name of that woman I met at the grocery store this morning?” you ask yourself. “She sure looked familiar, but I can’t seem to place her.” The bell goes off, and I have to get up and go over to the filing cabinet, open it, which takes a lot longer than it did when you were eighteen.
I look under: the WHAT IS HER NAME file. It takes me a long time to research and find the file you have requested. Forgive me, but my rememberer isn’t working as well as it used to. I have no problems with my forgetter; it’s working just fine. After eight hours, I find the file, but by then, of course, you have forgotten all about that meeting in the grocery aisle this morning. Though you may have forgotten about her; my job is to find the file and send it to the dispatcher, who sends it to your brain. That’s when you say, “now, why did I, all of a sudden, remember her name? What’s wrong with me? I must be getting old.” Of course, you’re getting old. Have you ever heard of anyone getting young?
I’ve come to the time in my life when my work becomes more demanding, but yours doesn’t. I have more to do now, since you retired, and your memory is fading. I made the decision years ago to slow down, take life a day at a time. When you reminisce it isn’t necessary for me to overburden myself; if I wait long enough, you’ll forget you thought about that old classmate, or the name of your first puppy. But, unfortunately, I must still get up and go to the file, search and report my findings to your brain; I just don’t hurry any longer.
For years, I have prided myself on my being swift and accurate in supplying you with immediate answers to your thoughts. And, what do I get for it? No credit, no thank you, and not even a polite compliment from you. So, since you are in your seventies now and slowing down, I have decided to do the same. When you want to know someone’s name or a place or anything, no matter how important to you, I will take my sweet, old time; don’t forget, I, too, am retired.
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