This space should have been filled by a review of Jim Mickle’s new film, Cold in July. Based on the trailer, it stars Michael C. Hall (Dexter‘s Dexter) as a meek family man who kills a home invader and struggles with the aftermath, including torment at the hands of the invader’s father (Sam Shepard). I was super pumped, especially to see Shepard in a more substantial role after a few notable supporting turns last year in Mud, Out of the Furnace, and August: Osage County. Plus it’s playing at the Sundance, which has begun a new $5 Tuesdays program, as we all know. So I pull into the parking garage in time to miss the previews (I hate previews, but that’s another blog post entirely), get up to the theater, and realize I forgot my wallet. Well there goes any semblance of an enjoyable evening.
I wish I could say this kind of thing is a rare event, but it really isn’t. The wallet is the number one item that escapes my mental grasp. It’s either in my backpack or my car, depending on which one I don’t need it to be in. I’m setting myself up for failure, since driving around without identification isn’t the most legal move I’ve made.
Now, to all you naysayers who wonder why I’m not keeping my wallet in my pocket, well you’re the idiots. Sitting on a thick wallet all day is going to be the source of your back pain in ten years. Mark my words, you’ll rue the day you put that trifold in the back of your jeans.
But my problems don’t end with that leather house where I keep my green paper. I currently have three alarms set to remind myself to do things tomorrow: one at 6:20 am to remember to put my sunglasses in my car when I leave for work, one at 2:45 pm to remind me to leave work a little early, and one at 3:30 pm to remind me to go to Macy’s. And now that I mention it, I should set one so I don’t forget to go to the library tomorrow evening. And another one for the grocery store. I’ve got a lot going on.
So am I forgetful or absent-minded? Is there a difference? And if there is a difference, does it matter? Even if I’m just scattered, that doesn’t change the fact that I have lost dozens of great story and sketch ideas in the cavernous, House of Leaves-style hallways in the depths of my brain.
Nor does it change the fact that after I left the movie theater parking lot today, I drove to Ralph’s to pick up something for lunch tomorrow. With what money, dummy? I couldn’t hold on to that information for more than five minutes. Maybe it’s technology’s fault. This device I’m tapping away on right now certainly isn’t helping matters.
But this phenomenon predates my iPhone. One night in college (sophomore year) I was studying my biology – I must have had a test the next day because otherwise that text book would not have been open. Something struck me as important, but in my urgency to write it down, I discovered my pen had disappeared. I spent the next ten minutes tearing my desk apart, looking for that goddamn pen. Once I gave up and sat back down I realized it had been in my mouth the entire time.
Now, in my defense, I was probably more than a little stoned at the time. Who knows, maybe my prolonged use during those years is coming back to bite me now. The brain is elastic, however, able to bounce back from these kinds of setbacks. I know there is a certain herbal remedy that is supposed to help with memory. Maybe I should start taking that. If only I could remember what it’s called.