Alzheimer’s, the fear

I sometimes think, often think to myself am I getting it, getting the disease, Alzheimer’s, am I a sufferer? In fact I have always been absent minded. I have been accused many times of being eccentric; I deny it. But maybe I am.

I come out of a tube station, blinking into the sunlight & I wonder where I am. I forget things, this & that. In the morning I can’t find my glasses. I spend 2 hours looking for my cheque book. I lose my keys. My coffee seems to be in a different place from where I left it last night. I wake up in the morning & can’t think what day of the week it is.  I lie in bed feeling depressed & suicidal. I have strange vivid dreams.

In the train, sometimes, people seem as though I have never seen people before. I see them as objects. They all look so young. Are they real or have they escaped from a picture?

I catch sight of myself & don’t recognise myself. I look grotesque. I seem to have morphed into a death mask. I try to avoid mirrors; it is too upsetting. Mirrors should be banned. But they are everywhere. I can’t avoid them it seems.

London the city, where nothing ever stops. In the tube we are crushed together, on the pavement we can hardly move. We are assailed by strange noises, other people’s ringtones, police sirens, ambulance sirens, strange languages; walking down the street it is like the tower of Babylon.

Perhaps I have Alzheimer’s. It is something to be feared. Once you have Alzheimer’s, there is no going back. Sufferers of this terrible & deadly disease sit in (almost) silence, remembering (I suppose.)  But what is it that they are remembering? Maybe it is many things in their life. Maybe they are just wondering when it is that it is the next meal time. Maybe they are composing poetry in their heads.

It is something to be feared. It can strike randomly. It can strike anybody. It is no respecter of persons. The great & the good & the poor & the downtrodden; all are equally susceptible. Normally it strikes the old but it can also strike the middle aged. Comedians joke about the old & infirm. They should be careful. One day they will be old; it could be they who are the butt of other comedians’ jokes.

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