I was on my way to the closing party of an art exhibition in Dover Street, by one of my nephews. (That makes me feel old.)
Approaching my local station I had a sudden sense of foreboding. The sky had that look about it. ‘Oh oh. I bet it’s pouring by the time I come back, and I’ve no coat or brolly. I’ll be drenched.’
At that moment a fleeting thought, a reassuring certainty: ‘It’s fine, my mum will come and pick me up from the station if I ask her’.
I’m in my 50s. Have not lived at home for over 30 years. My mother lives bloody miles away and is more or less confined to bed. Where did I get this notion that she would leap into the car and fetch me?
It’s bizarre. And it’s not as though my kids would ever ask me to do the same for them, so that’s not the link. How weird.
Does anyone else experience similar or am I just completely gaga? Is it some kind of variant on deja vu? Or a sign of stress, like the way I frequently mix up my words when speaking? Or lack of sleep, because lord knows I have a lot of catching up to do there. Or is there actually something the matter with my brain? Surely not: I spent whole days being tested in the Royal Free over the last few years. They tested the wrong things though (in my opinion). They asked: ‘how did you get here?’. They asked: ‘how many words can you think of that begin with the letter F?’ And I thought ‘don’t tempt me.’
But it’s unnerving, for example, how often when I am asked my address on a form, I fill in that of my childhood home. It just seems to follow more naturally after writing out my name. I don’t know. Sometimes my old telephone number as well. This is not just writing last year’s date in January!
I’ve noticed that I will often find myself calmly deciding that I will NOT do a thing, when I have already embarked on it. I suppose ‘making another piece of toast’ is a frequent example, but more important ones crop up, too. Like ‘I won’t buy that house’ when I’ve already bought it and lived in it almost a year.
I know I am old, but surely this is too early for a second childhood?
Image: one of the lights at the tube station.