The sun was bright. In fact, it was dazzling. I couldn’t look at it – it seemed like someone had set off a few flash bulbs in my face. I had to close my eyes and open them slowly. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been so dazzled by sunlight. Hold that thought. I couldn’t remember the last time of anything. And the brightness was just me emerging from within my brain. I rolled that thought around my mind, which wasn’t too difficult given the amount of space available since all my memories had suddenly fled the scene. Before my tongue could come up with the classic ‘where am I’ my brain decided to exert some control. And wake up some more.
I was in a car, one of those SUV type thingies. I thought I knew the guy beside me who was looking at me with growing concern and moving his lips. That didn’t seem right. Oh ok, he was asking me a question.
“Where do you live?’
Hmmmm. That was an interesting question. My answer was even more interesting since it came out without any conscious effort on my part to answer.
“I don’t remember”
And that was true. I really didn’t remember where I lived. It was then that my awareness grew some more. The guy driving was my ex-teammate and manager. And I had been playing a game of soccer. A cup match, against Sydney United’s premier league team. I wonder what happened there. I remembered coming off from the midfield 5 minutes into the second half with us trailing 1-0, and coming back on 5 minutes later as a striker with us trailing 2-0 (we had rolling substitutions). That’s all I remembered. I wondered what had happened to the game. And I asked him.
He said we went down 7 nil. I was aghast. It had been only 2-0, when and how did they make it 7? He said they had unraveled us. It’s bad enough to lose one’s memory, but the shock of losing the game had been too much for my still fragile mind to bear. And I slumped a little and started to examine my head. I’d always been a great one for introspection. And I realized that it was taking a lot of effort to think. As though the gears were all clashing, and there was no grease. And my mind was also sputtering instead humming smoothly like the mind of any bona fide genius should.
So far I had avoided classic question no 1, and I considered classic question no 2 as I metaphorically gathered my strength to ask my friend ‘what happened’. When my system got another shock. A woman’s voice saying ‘everything will be ok’ – and someone reached from the back seat and patted my arm, while at the same time I could hear her looking through a bag, (mine – said my mind) and wallet (again mine – said my mind). Of course, my team mate’s girlfriend – trying to find out my address or a contact. That did enough to derail the delicate train of my thought and I slumped back into my seat trying to remember stuff like what year was it and where i lived. I had some vague recollection of some 11th or 9th floor. With some sort of a walkway. In the meanwhile she had found my phone. And she asked me whom should she call. Last dialled nos – dad, mom? No No – I knew they lived far away and I was in …Sydney? She got a friend’s name, who I knew lived close by and she called them, and explained the situation.
Their friend had got hit on the head during a soccer game and was suffering from some memory loss, and they were taking me to the hospital – could they (ie my friend) come there? Apparently they could.
So since I knew the answer to the classic questions –
Q: what had happened? A: I got hit on the head during a game of soccer and lost some of my memory
Q: where was I? A: In a car, heading to a hospital.
Other stuff started filtering through my head. I had been at a soccer game. Oh yes. I asked Buzz, my team mate – what happened in the game? did we win? – He looked decidedly unhappy, he said ‘No, we lost 7-0.’
‘7-0, but it had only been 2-0 when I came on.’
He didn’t say anything.
And I tried to remember other important stuff. I still didn’t know where I lived, but I knew who my employer was, and the name of my erstwhile manager. And I had some vague memory of this being 2009 or 2010.
And we had reached the hospital. Buzz took me in through to the emergency ward. Where we told the person in-charge about my problem – knock on head, memory loss. And she asked us wait.
I wondered aloud why an emergency ward would have a waiting room for patients? I mean if they can wait it’s hardly an emergency.