The aging brain

aging brain

I used to love my brain. It was very dependable. It had tremendous capacity, and a very quick response time.

But all that has changed.

I began to notice it about two years ago, at the advanced age of fifty-three. Proper names were suddenly less easy to remember. Simple facts – Who starred in which movie? What do you call that thing you use to eat ice cream with? – were eluding me.

The pace of the decline has quickened. I was introducing two people to one another not long ago – people I knew very well – and I suddenly couldn’t remember one of their names. I tried to cover for myself, fumblingly. I admitted it to one friend later, and he just grinned. “I noticed,” he said. “You forgot my name!”


Thank god he thought it was funny.

I told my doctor about it, sure that he would say it was more-or-less-early-onset Alzheimer’s. He shrugged. “It’s the aging brain,” he said.

The aging brain.


It progresses. The other day, I looked at a regular analog clock with hour hand on two and minute hand on six. One voice in my head said: “Two-thirty.” And another voice, achier and feebler, said: “What in the hell is that thing?”

Time ticks by, and I get dimmer and dimmer, and more and more feeble.

It’s only a matter of time.

What were we talking about?

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

6 Responses to The aging brain

  1. starproms says:

    Looking at that picture is very scary Loren. There does seem to be a large degree of shrinkage. OMG is that what I’m coming to? I am suffering the same as you and dread introductions! Whilst watching awards, such as The Brits or The Oscars or what’s that other one!!? recently, I thought to myself ‘thank goodness I never went on the stage because as I’ve got older, I would never be able to manage those after show parties.’

  2. John Smith says:

    Hmm, forgotten what I was going to say……
    Names have always eluded me. Now yesterday is a blur.

  3. Kind of reassuring that your doctor did not diagnose with Alzheimer’s disease.

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