Transient Global Amnesia


A word most of us know, but few of us ever experience.

It was a few hours ago. I got up like every other morning, but there was this strange lingering feeling in the back of my head. I couldn’t put it anywhere and went about my morning routine.

I put up some coffee, went to the bathroom, grabbed my toothbrush, and froze in front of the mirror.

The face staring at me, I didn’t know it. My eyes grew wide, mouth opened, and the toothbrush fell from my hands.

Who was that I was staring at? Who was… I?

I tried to remember, tried to figure out what was going on, but there was nothing. My mind was a blank, entirely, and utterly empty.

I rushed from the bathroom and back to my living room. My eyes wandered around, trying to find something, a hint, anything that could explain who I was.

I stumbled to my bookshelf and read the titles of the many books I owned. They were all in English, all American. Twain, Pynchon, Melville, Stephen King, and on it went.

Was I American? I wondered, but still nothing.

I rushed to the kitchen and found an assortment of empty beer bottles. I frowned. Was I an alcoholic? Was this the reason for all this?

With shaking hands, I opened my fridge only to be greeted by some fermented abomination at its back. My stomach churned, and I felt my mouth water as I stared at the abominable meal and threw it shut in an instant.

I went on the internet, started to investigate. Transient global amnesia, they called it. A sudden, temporary episode of memory loss.

As I read the article, fear overtook me. What was this, why was this happening, what was going on?

Then I got a new idea. Maybe it was temporary, maybe if I just waited, my memory would return. Maybe I could somehow trigger those memories lost.

I opened my word processor and started typing. Slowly and steadily letters appeared on the screen.

Click, clack, click, clack. More of them filled the screen. An endless barrage of letters all forming together in a senseless amalgamation so long no other word I’d seen could compare.

And then, to my sheer and utter horror, I realized I could read it. I could read this horrible, alien creation and even… make sense of it.

At that moment, in that instant, it all made sense. Everything was clear to me.

The beer, the fermented cabbage in my fridge. Once more I read the word I’d written.


Oh god, it was true, without a doubt. In shock, I set in front of my computer, stunted and sweating.

I. Was. German.

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