Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bob Can't Remember My Name

Let me introduce you to Bob. I met Bob on Monday in the same place that I meet lots of interesting people, the thrift store. He was looking at some Autobahn magazines in the book section when he looked at me and said the magic words, Antique Road Show. That will get my attention every time. He then proceeded to tell me his entire life story. Bob, or Big Bob as he's commonly known, is in his 60s, he is married and has a son, Little Bob. Bob has a problem though. Bob can't remember stuff. He tries real hard but his brain doesn't work like it used to. You can see in his eyes that he wants to remember. His hands move nervously, his eyes look up and he thinks. And then he apologizes because he just can't remember. In 2005 Bob wrecked his Harley. His head was crushed and his arm was torn off. He was in a coma for a long time. When he woke up they had already reattached his arm and fixed his head but now he can't remember stuff. That's probably why his name is written in marker on all his clothes. His eyes water up as he tells me, "I just can't remember, I try but I can't. This causes arguments with my wife. She's having a hard time with this. I don't like arguing. I can't even remember what it is we are arguing about." He wanted to remember my name and he was going to write it down but, well, he forgot.

Bob told me a lot of interesting things. For instance, he knew the original Barbie and Ken. No, not the dolls, the people that the dolls were named for. He was friends with the Mattel family. Bob used to collect hot wheels. He tells me that few years back he decided to sell off some of his collection and made $108,000 in three hours. He must have spent that money though because on Monday he only had $4 to spend. He bought a small wooden plaque for twenty-five cents and a pack of wooden train coasters for seventy-five. They were for a friend.

I saw Bob again today. He likes the thrift store. Sometimes he just comes and puts puzzles together. I guess it's therapeutic. He is also in a support group for people with serious brain damage. He didn't remember my name. This time he wrote it down. He didn't have any paper but it's on his hand in big blue letters, St Vincent Dan. "Dave?", "No my name is Dan. It's nice to see you again Bob."


Rebecca said...

Oh Dan, that is so sad. I can't even imagine living like that.

Rebecca said...

Rebecca is Kelly today. Too lazy to change it right now!

Daniele said...