There are some words that, for whatever Freudian reason or other, I just can’t remember. One of them is ‘placebo’, though I’m making progress on this one. The other one, the major one, is the word ‘autism’. In the general way of things, I just can never find this word when I look for it. It is as though a mechanism has been constructed which snaps into action whenever I look for this word and I am trapped in a closed circuit. I should say that the word autism comes up quite a frequently in my professional life. The other day I tried to find the word and couldn’t, it was suggested to me and within twenty seconds I had forgotten it again, and twenty seconds later I forgot it again. This is pathological.
My friend Christina suggested I think of the word ‘auto’, as in automobile, as people obsessed with cars can suffer from being on this spectrum, and this would nudge me into remembering the word. Auto – Autism. Should work. And it mostly did. Except that now the word that is suddenly jumping up at me from auto is not autism, it is ‘autopsy’. I’m back trapped in the machine again.