Brain damage

Sometimes, all it takes to begin writing is to get a hold of an inspiring first couple of sentences. They usually carry enough momentum to get your inner voice going until you are done. Two days ago I found the right words to start writing about something that has been haunting me for a month. Then I lost them. I don’t remember if it was a strike of sunlight reflected on the water as the train moved across the Charles River, a note in a book someone read on a seat beside me, or the colorful wavelike motion of a summer skirt walking away, the subject of my writing abandoned my concerns for a few hours until a later conversation brought it back to my attention, and the famous first words were lost. I could not remember anything but the fact that I once had them on the palm of my hand, in front of my eyes, written down in my mind like the chorus of a memorable song. Now they were gone. Curiously enough, not long before I was having trouble remembering the name of Kiki Smith, feeling like I had her name in the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t say it. Michele laughed at me and diagnosed me with aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage). I couldn’t help but join her laughter with a silly grin, two scoops of embarrassment and a touch of confusion.

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