Do You Smell That

A man goes to the doctor. He says, Doctor, my memory is bad. Every morning I wake up and I can barely remember what I did the day before. I try to make resolutions to be a better person, to travel, to learn things, to lose weight, to stop bad habits, but then I forget and nothing changes. I make plans for the weekend, but then I forget, and I just sit there on my couch, not knowing what to do. I forget what I like and what I don’t like. I can’t remember why I have the job that I do. I can barely remember my childhood. My whole life is a blur, it passes faster every day and I don’t even know who I am anymore. The doctor looks him over, looks in his eyes, his ears, his throat. He weighs him, measures him, listens to his heart. He asks questions. Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do drugs? Any medication? Work with chemicals? Family history? Then he stands up, leans against the counter at a crooked angle, as if he’s stretching. He has a strange look on his face. Then he stares at the man, waiting. Do you smell that? says the doctor. Smell what? says the man. I think I know what the problem is. What? You have no sense of smell. What? Smell is deeply connected to memory. People don’t realize this, but they remember things largely because of their sense of smell. Sometimes they pick up a scent somewhere and memories come flooding back. You don’t remember anything because you have no sense...