When it comes to remembering numbers, well, basically, I don’t. I count well so I remember the numbers needed to count. Math skills are acceptable.
I just can’t remember the basics. I don’t know my street address or telephone number. I don’t know my cellphone number or my wife’s number. Zip code? Nope. Year? I have to stop and think. Street name? Yes. Just not the numbers in an address.
Age? Math helps because I can remember my birth year. I remember my home phone number. From the 1960s. And my social security number. From the 1960s.
That’s about it.
What went wrong? Uncle Bill.
One summer weekend Dad drove the family to Uncle Bill’s house, about a hour away. We went to a nearby park to play baseball with younger cousins and my brothers. Dad and Uncle Bill came along because they loved to hit a baseball as far as possible and watch their kids chase it.
If my memory serves me well, I was about 12 years old, and it was the beginning of my pitching years.
I pitched. Dad and Uncle Bill hit. Only a few minutes into the uneven process of adults playing against children, Uncle Bill asked me to serve up a fastball down the middle of the plate.
He hit the fastball as hard as possible, a sold line drive that would have made it to the outfield except it bounced off my forehead first. I flattened out on the pitcher’s mound; somewhat unconscious.
The concussion protocol back in the day was little more that a splash of water on the face. I suffered a huge bump on my forehead that took a few days to go down and I remember being groggy and sluggish, too.
From then on I had trouble with numbers. Well, not the numbers themselves, just strings of numbers. Any numbers beyond three in a row became mostly impossible to remember.
At that point I knew my home address (numbers), home phone number (numbers) and social security number (more numbers). Strings of numbers beyond three? Nope. That made geometry and algebra more than a challenge because I could not remember formulas, either.
What was the home phone number back then? 314-754-5858. What is my cellphone number today?
I have no idea.