When I arrived at work on Monday morning, early, before any of my staff, I discovered the department had been reorganized and rebuilt. Walls had been moved and everything reconstructed. The place looked like a giant Library of Congress reading room, only with modern desks instead of old-fashioned wooden study tables. If a throne could be a desk, my desk was a throne. I knew it was my desk because my name-plate rested on its surface. I thought, "I've been promoted."
Having checked on things, I decided to return to my apartment, which was somewhere in the same building. I couldn't find it, too many corners and turns. I spotted a fellow who looked like a security guard and asked if he could show me the way. I apologized, saying so much had changed over the weekend, I couldn't remember where to go.
I had a feeling he knew who I was, but he asked for my apartment number anyway. I said 2012. He led me to the neighboring apartments, 2011, 2010. I said, "Yes, I know how to get here, but for some reason my number isn't in order like the rest. It's here somewhere." Feeling that he might not know me after all, I wanted him to reassure him that I wasn't a trespasser, so I said, "I saw my new desk; I guess I've been promoted." He remained silent, searching with me.
A gap in time passed, with some wandering, and then I saw Karen and waved. She seemed so pleased I recognized her, that I tilted my head and said, "What's going on here? Of course I know you." She said, "You're getting better." I said, "Have I been forgetting things?" She said, "Yes, you've had amnesia. You were in a coma for two months."
Frustration set in. I tried to remember and I couldn't. "Do we have kids?" "Yes," she said, "four of them, all grown."
I said, "I guess I'd better get to work, but what do I do?" She said, "Don't worry about that. They're not going to fire you." I was really fretting. I mean, I couldn't find our apartment, I didn't know my kids, I didn't know what my job was.
"Don't worry," she said. "You founded this place, and other companies. No one's about to fire you."
I didn't know whether to believe her or not. She insisted, "You're the owner. In fact, we're billionaires."
I said something like, "A billionaire and I can't remember a thing." She said, "Really, don't worry, your memory is coming back."
How could she tell? I suddenly realized, "Do you mean I've asked you these things before?" She laughed, "Yes, many times, but now you're getting better." So every day, with any passage of bits of time, I asked her the same questions. I must be driving her nuts. Today, finally, I had recognized her, and I had known enough to look for our apartment, which was in the same building.
But how did she know I would keep getting better? This was about the time I opened my eyes and saw daylight in the window.
"What if you came to and recognized Keri, Lex, Rosie, and all the other animals, but not Karen or the rest of your human family?" says Virginia.
Karen might not be too happy about that, but I bet she'd find it funny.
Different strokes for different folks
2 weeks ago