Our brains and memories are very strange things indeed. When I was twelve, I had a serious accident, bicycling down a hill along a curvy road flanked by dryads. One of them refused to step aside, which resulted in a multiple skull fracture and three months of coma and shock. After that period, I had to learn everything anew : how to tie a shoestring, how to use knife and fork, even how to walk. I did not recognize anybody except my mother. I could not calculate. But strangely enough, when the curtains were drawn aside after three months of darkness, I found that I could still read, and faster than before. Since then I have hardly ever left the house without a pocket in my pocket.

I had lost the concept of names, however. Since then, it has been quite difficult for me to connect names with faces. After five years in Greek class, I still did not know the names of more than half of my classmates. When negotiating with the purchasing officer of a company, I have no problem whatsoever connecting him with the prices of the products he's buying, but his name remains strangely elusive, which has lead to a couple of embarassing situations in the past. With the years, it's getting slowly better, but not very much.

I'm not surprised you did not remember reading the books. After my recovery, the six months before the accident were completely wiped off my memory. As the years went by, this period slowly returned, and now I remember everything up to one hour before the accident. There it stops, there is a blank spot of three months, with one exception : six years after the accident, when walking in the street, I recognized the nurse who had taken care of me the first month, when I was in coma at the intensive station. I knew her face, but could not place it. She told me who she was, and was baffled that I recognized her. Apparently coma is not a total loss of all awareness. I wouldn't know how to explain it otherwise.


on the water
the reflection
of a wanderer