She was a friend. Other people sometimes live their entire lives in one place and keep friends for life, but she was more distant, clinging to me loosely, trying to live off free advice. Like almost all the friends I have in one particular region, she was a therapist. Not a bad thing to be, and I believe her to be a competent therapist. But she had the same problem most people in my age group have. She wanted help fighting it.
I suppose the name for it these days is “cognitive loss for age.” Not Alzheimer’s, that “presenile” (the earliest cases described by Kraepelin himself was in mid-fifties) dementia, but getting older.
Mainstream medicine comes up with names and categories and prescriptions, that may or may not offer significant clinical improvement. The human spirit comes up with, well, at least a little good anger. If there is one piece of poetry I quote more than any other, it is Dylan Thomas “Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Of course this brilliant Welsh poet, the way I heard it, died of alcohol poisoning in New York; not exactly how I plan to rage against the dying of my light. Oh, how many people who have tried to feed me alcohol I have told I cannot afford to lose any brain cells by that method. I need everything I have to continue to live by my wits. Read more on Advice From A Poet About Memory Loss…