Artichoke. You already know what it is. I am showing it so I can refer back to it if need be.
What brought it on was watching the Utah Utes play football against the Oregon Ducks. The Oregon uniforms reminded me of artichokes. I had a few frustrating moments trying to think of the name of the “variety of a species of thistle, cultivated as food,” (Wikipedia) and then finally asked my wife. She looked at me as she often does at such moments, in amazement, but came up with the answer. So now I can remember artichoke.
What is also funny is that memory is so selective. We can remember some things with near crystal clarity, and others, even things we should remember, we come up empty when trying to think of them.
I have “forgotten” whole parts of my life. In the 1990s when my therapist asked me to recount a memory from my childhood I went blank. I told her, “I know I have it in there somewhere, but I can’t make it come out.” When I went home I had an uncomfortable evening trying to retrieve the memory, and actually it did not come back fully to me for several weeks. So my head hard drive has been full up for quite a long time. Decades, even.
But in one of those interesting things about memory, one recollection came clearly, and was sparked by a cartoon in the September 28, 2015 New Yorker.
Artist: Michael Crawford. Copyright © 2015 The New Yorker.
I recognized the cartoon as being inspired by the cover of an old detective magazine, one I have in my collection. It is in storage, yet I was able to go into the basement and remember the box it was in.
Special Detective magazine, Oct-Nov 1951.
Apparently my internal hard drive has glitches when trying to recall some life events and the names of everyday foodstuffs, but no problems recalling a cover of a magazine I have had stored in a box for about twenty years (at least).
Beyond that connection, it makes me wonder where the cartoonist saw the magazine. The Internet?
*My mother spent the last four years of her life in such a place. What losing a parent to Alzheimer’s does is doom one to looking at every little failure of memory or cognition and worry that one is afflicted with dementia.