“It’s my brain, doc.” I said, my feet tapping against the resonant metal sides of the exam table. “I think it’s shrinking.”
As if he hadn’t heard, he shone his penlight into my right eye, then the left.
I went on: “I don’t like the things I used(more) to like. Reading, for instance... and my vocabulary. It’s dwindling. I don’t have words any more.”
He turned to retrieve a tongue depressor from a jar and, sticking it forcefully into my mouth, said:
“It’s the natural decline associated with aging. We all fumble for words from time to time, forget where we left our car keys... and so on.”
“GAWAAWAAG...” I replied.
“As a matter of fact,” the doctor stretched a rubber glove over each hand, “The fact that you have this concern at all is almost certainly an argument against your having significant cognitive deterioration.”
He instructed me to bend over, so I turned and grasped the corners of the table with both hands.
He prodded my interior for several seconds while I considered this possibility.
“No, doc.” I said, wincing, “I really think it’s more than just occasionally forgetting things.”
“Your prostate is fine.” He snapped off his gloves and threw them into a bin.
“Great. But how would I know for sure?”
“I just checked it, that’s how. No enlargement whatsoever.”
“No, I mean the “cognitive deterioration”... How would I know if I had any?”
The doctor regarded me sharply.
“Well, you wouldn’t. Others would notice it long before you would.”
I wondered if I had done or said anything lately that would give one pause to speculate at my mental state.
“Well Mr. Moon, pending any unusual lab results, you appear to be perfectly healthy.”
“Thank you, Captain,” I said, saluting, “Now, which way to the mezzanine deck?”