Summers 13P

Jane cast her glance over at Dr. Patel. “You asked me the other day how often I thought about my father, and I said, pretty much every day. And when you asked me how long it was since he passed — I did what I always do, because I don’t have the date or year committed to memory. I have to think about that quarterback for the Bears, who played his first game on the day he died. I remember his rookie season, because the Bears made it to the Super Bowl that year. That’s what I have to do, to remember the year my father died.”

She ran her hand over her scalp again, to pull back the long strands of dirty blonde hair that had swept onto her face. She caught a glimpse of Arjie, his goateed face staring at her, eyes filled with a combination of understanding and impatience. She could read his thoughts — whatever you want to say is OK, but it would really help if you explained why this is important, because we’re all pretty confused right now.

“So what does this have to do with my — ” she stared back at Dr. Patel — “condition? About this delusion you all think I’m having, about waking up one morning and realizing the world around me has changed completely? About not knowing how to use a computer, or that a phone could be used for something other than talking to someone? About wondering why there’s so many cars on the road, why transportation technology has barely changed in half a century?”

She saw Arjie nod slowly.

“Because every time I insist I’m still in my right mind — or hear someone like Dr. Patel — ”

“Sam.”

Jane smiled. “Yes, thank you. Every time someone like Sam says I seem to be OK — even though I agree with them — I think about how I remember the year my father died. How I have to think about that stupid quarterback of the Bears. And I think, why do I have to think about something so trivial in order to remember something so important. And when I have those thoughts — that’s when I begin to wonder how truly sane I am.”

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