I’ll often re-tell the same story. I’m not too good with names either. Or faces come to think of it. I don’t mind really – I’m used to it. But I worry that I appear rude, and I don’t want to be rude.

I’ll usually tell by their expression that we’ve met before and I’ll say hello and ask a vague question to try to place them. Sometimes it dawns on me mid-conversation and if you knew to be looking, maybe you’d see this difference in my eyes. But it’s not uncommon for me to have whole conversations and walk away not knowing.

I worry about it sometimes. It reminds me of my mum. After my dad was gone, some mornings she would wonder where he was.

After the first couple of times I thought it would be better to tell a lie. This moment of deliberation was sidled with a heavy release: a slow sigh accompanied by a memory, and then I would see her smile.

I would make up reasons as to why he had gone out but would be back soon. These started off reasonably believable but later grew to be more elaborate and I found myself getting quite creative with explanations. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed telling the stories but it was some way to make light in the encroaching shadows.