Working Memory Blog

Miranda: The story of my life!

Miranda pulled the cushions off the couch and threw them onto the floor, scattering books, newspapers, bills, and tissues. She was late again.

“Why am I always losing stuff? Where are those car keys?” she thought, throwing paper around searching for her keys. “I can’t be late three days in a row. I really need this job but no one will believe that if I’m late again. Not Petra, my boss, that cranky, bitter woman who never leaves work. She must sleep there. Doesn’t she ever go home? Oh no, that’s right. She’s selling her house and doesn’t want to live in it in case it gets dirty or  something.”

Miranda scanned the mess. No keys.

“Maybe the keys have slipped down behind the seat,” she thought.

She pushed her fingers into the seat join at the back of the couch.

“Nothing, just a lot of lint and some old chip crumbs.” She pulled a roll of lint out and wiped it on the cushions then she pushed her fingers deeper into the frame. A chip crumb stabbed her in the soft skin under the nail.  She pulled her hand back and sucked on her finger. It was one of those tiny cuts that keep on stinging

“Just like bamboo under the fingernail,” she thought, sucking on her finger, “that’s appropriate.”

She ran her hand along the back of the couch where it joined the padding: a two dollar coin and a hair clip.

“Better than nothing, but two dollars isn’t a taxi fare.”

She dropped the money into her pocket and pushed her hand under the arm of the couch and wriggled her fingers – nothing, only an old chocolate wrapper. She remembered pushing it in there to hide it from Ben who thought that she was dieting.

Her eyes began stinging with tears of frustration. “Where are those keys? Petra won’t care. She can always get someone else. This is the story of my life,” she thought, sitting heavily on the floor, on top of a pile of magazines. “Always in a mess, always disorganised. What am I going to do? I’m sure those keys were in the pocket of my jacket when I sat down. Maybe Ben used them when he went out. Maybe he left them hanging in the lock.”

Miranda jumped up and ran to the front door breathing fast – “Please let them be in the door.”

No keys. She turned and tripped over the Mercantile Law textbook that they were using for a door stop, falling heavily onto the floor. “I can’t keep living like this,” she thought, sobbing. She sucked on her finger as she tried to remember when she had last seen her keys. She tried to track back in her memory but her foot was hurting so much it was hard to concentrate. All she could see in front of her was the unfinished wall paper project, the half attached skirting board and the overflowing bookcase blocking up the entrance hall.

“That’s it. I’m going fix this mess. I’m to get a book on Fung Shui.”

She moved some paper aside, rang Petra and left a message saying that she was sick.

“Thank goodness it’s a landline,” she muttered as she hung up, “otherwise I would probably have lost this phone as well as the keys.”

She picked up the papers and put the cushions back on the couch. Under the cushions were her keys. She heaved a sigh of relief. “Of course they would be under the cushions. Where else would they be?” She gripped the keys tightly. “It’s time to make a few changes in my life.”