A mind is a terrible thing to lose.
Alex and I watched a documentary last year that completely charmed both of us. It was about a man who was sort of down on his luck, but didn't see it that way. This guy had very modest needs and he squatted in a cottage behind a home for a number of years and nobody ever complained.
I think he was a musician, but if so, he made very little money. He lived in the Telegraph Hill area of San Francisco and got his coffee free at a local dive where he read his newspaper every morning. If memory serves, he got basic supplies from a food bank but rather than seeing him as deprived, he seemed to be living a very rich life. This was some amazing storytelling.
The guy developed a relationship with wild birds who lived near him and several of them trusted him enough to move into his cottage with him. He watched them form relationships, have offspring, lose mates, and documented most of what he was seeing. It was amazing to see the affection these birds and this man had for each other.
In a rather lovely turn of events, the man in the film actually married the woman film maker who did the documentary on him.
I went to lunch with my friend Nelson shortly after seeing the film. I was explaining how delightful the man was and how simply and frugally he lived. (Nelson is all about the simple life, but I think he has stock portfolio and a trust fund that make his simple life a little less simple than the guy in the film.)
In any case, Nelson asked me, "What was the name of the film?" and I drew a total blank. It was "The wild somethings of telegraph hill" I responded to him. "Wild Somethings?" he asked. Well, wait, it was the "Wild Pirates", no, that's wrong. I started flapping my arms like a bird at him and said "Wild Pilots". At this point, I was snorting with laughter and nearly falling on the floor. I then offered "Wild Parents of Telegraph Hill", which of course was wrong as well. I choked out "Nelson they are green and some are red! And look at me!" as I flapped my arms even harder to get him to understand.
Nelson looked at me and I know he was embarrassed by my behavior because we were in a restaurant. I kept saying "Wild Pirates!" and then "No! Wild Pilots!" "Wild Parents!" and flapping my arms in frustration and hysteria.
The word "Parrots" would not come no matter how hard I tried. I finally quit trying much to Nelson relief. I had Pilots, Pirates and Parents in my brain and they would not allow Parrots in at that point no matter how hard I tried. I was sort of annoyed that Nelson had been so embarrassed at my theatrics, but I thought he would have guessed what I was trying to say. It should have been obvious enough.
As soon as I got home from lunch, I went in the house and the word "Parrots" came to me immediately. I never told Nelson.