A brick falls underneath my foot.

The other day, I went to the kitchen to make what’s become a simple but filling meal for my cash-strapped self: peanut butter and raspberry jam on multigrain bread. Easy enough to manage when my spoons (read: energy levels) are low.

I spread peanut butter on each of the loaf’s last pieces, then screwed the lid back onto the jar, frowning a little at the lid’s stubbornness in resettling before putting it away. The last of the jam went onto a single piece. As I make a habit of recycling — and also because my apartment building has a pharaoh ant infestation — I rinsed out the jam jar with hot water, then turned to retrieve the lid so they could go into the recycling bag together.

It was only when I spied the solitary, bright green lid sitting on the counter that I realised what I’d done: I’d put the wrong lid on the peanut butter jar.

My brain used to be my pride and joy, the one thing I once (naïvely) felt I could always count on, as I knew at a young age that one’s physical body was transitory, and in my innocence I swore I would kill myself if my brain failed me because I couldn’t imagine living without it functioning at less than optimal levels. Likewise, I once prided myself on being observant, so that I managed to do this and not notice such a drastic difference in both materials and colour — even with me noting how the lid skipped the jar threads at first — shows just how far gone I am.

What makes it harder to deal with is that this was a tangible example of deterioration happening on the spot rather than gradually. To say I’m shocked and dismayed is an understatement, and I’m afraid to find out just how much worse this will get.

I find myself thinking back to that youthful vow more often these days. Maybe that’s why I’ve stopped taking my meds regularly.


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