“Paper Towels Paper Towels Paper Towels” — A Short Story Involving Menopause Brain

That’s me repeating to myself what I need to get from the pantry. On the way to the pantry I stop to pick up a random leaf that has blown in from the back door that, in turn, requires me to turn around and throw in the kitchen trashcan.

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While I’m at the kitchen trashcan, I notice it is full so I pull out the bag and reach under the sink to grab a new one. While under there I notice we are running low on sponges. I go to the junk drawer for a slip of paper and a pen to start a grocery list.

I can’t find a pen, so I head upstairs to my office. While in my office, I see that I left a bill on my desk that needs to be mailed. I grab the envelope to bring out to the mailbox. When I get back downstairs, I realize I have to go to the bathroom. I stop in the bathroom and notice I need to replenish the toilet paper.

I head back upstairs to the hall closet and realize I never made my bed. While in the bedroom, I see there is a glass on the side table that I need to bring to the kitchen. On my way to the kitchen, I stop in the upstairs bathroom because I need a hair tie.

All this running around has made me hot.

I go downstairs again and stand in the kitchen staring at nothing in particular. What was I doing? I don’t remember. I’ll retrace my steps. That will help.

On my step-retracing journey, I notice an empty water glass on the sink in the upstairs bathroom, the hall closet is wide open, my bed is half made, the garbage can in the kitchen is in need of a bag, there is no toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom, there is an unstamped envelope in my hand, and my hair is tied up.

How did that happen?

I’m sure it started with that walk to the pantry. But what was it that I needed? Paprika? Or was it sponges? Oh where was that grocery list I started? That’s right. I don’t have a pen.

But first I need to wash my hands.

Dammit. We’re out of paper towels.

“Paper towels paper towels paper towels,” I say to myself as I walk toward the pantry.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up sweeping out the garage.