I had a delightful interaction with a very old African-American man in the grocery parking lot tonight. Very slowly he pushed his cart, bent and leaning onto it, and mumbling discontentedly. I heard him say as I passed him
“I must be losing my mind completely.”
I slowed and said “yeah, me too.”
He stopped, surprised that someone had paid attention. Very good-naturedly he squinted at me and said “I can’t seem to remember the name of that artist who cut off his ear.
And I’m from New York!” “Van Gogh,” I said.
“Ooooh, YES! Of course! But how am I going to keep that in my head? I just can’t!” he replied, genuinely distressed.
I suggested that he perhaps think of a mini-van starting up and going.
“You know, like ‘van’ and ‘go.’” He turned his face skyward, grinning, and started to laugh deeply and loudly.