I can’t remember what my essay is about.
               Since her open-heart surgery, the patient is experiencing neurological disturbances related to anesthesia.  Symptoms include: headaches; insomnia; mood swings; short-term memory loss; a strong dislike towards her place of employment; low-grade suicide ideation; a pervasive sense of ennui; obsession with 80’s movies from her youth.
Remind me again about my essay?
               Patient reports an altered state of identity as well as midlife and existential crisis.  She also suffers from crushing self-doubt over abilities of which she once was sure.  Also noted are crying episodes and short-term memory loss.
Can you tell me what this essay is supposed to be about?
               Patient requests a referral to a neurologist even though I tell her there is no cause for alarm unless she is symptomatic for 6-12 months.  Patient becomes hysterical, says that this is too long, that she is in graduate school, that she thinks it is affecting her writing.  In the morning, it takes her 7 tries to leave the house.  She complains of short-term memory loss.  I advise her to come back in 3 months.  Patient bites her lip.
I’m supposed to write this essay for class…
               Patient explains we need to do something about this now.  She’s forgotten the way to work.  She can’t find her mother.  Her husband’s arms are missing.  She walks into rooms and can’t remember why.  She is not able to recall the lyrics to A Star is Born, not the old one, but the new one with Lady Gaga.  She forgets where her sentences are supposed to end up.  She is describing symptoms for short-term memory loss.
I didn’t turn in an essay for class.
               Patient is a writer and can’t remember about what her essay is regarding.  She reports that she can’t hear the “voice” in her poetry, that she’s gone poem-deaf.  I’m not sure what the patient means by this.  She will not stop complaining about short term memory loss.
Janette Schafer is a playwright, poet, nature photographer, part-time rocker, and full-time banker living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was the chief editor for "The Dreamers Anthology: Writing Inspired by the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank" released in April 2019 by Social Justice Anthologies. Her play "Mad Virginia" was the winner of the 2018 Pittsburgh Original Short Play Series. Recent and upcoming publication of her work includes the following: Sunspot Literary Journal; HerStry; Feckless Cunt Anthology; New Ink Review; Eunoia Review; Armarolla. She is an MFA student in Creative Writing at Chatham University.

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