“I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.” ~ Albert Einstein

That awkward moment after seeing a film and someone ask the question, “Did you enjoy the movie?”

How do you answer when you have no idea what you just saw on the screen? I usually say it was great. Then I eat more popcorn so I don’t have to talk about what we just experienced.

I’m sitting on my living room couch. Ready to watch a movie. My husband is in the kitchen getting snacks. I can hear the microwave carousel spinning. The smell of butter and calories are filling the room.

Lately I appreciate the process of getting ready to watch movies more than actually watching. It’s not because the program is boring or I fall sleep. Most times I pick what we see. It’s that I just don’t understand the storyline. And I’m too embarrassed to say anything.

It never fails. I get confused half way through the story and then I’m lost.

To hide my uncertainty, I laugh when everybody else laughs. And I cry when people look sad. Also, movie flashbacks are the worst. I get so disoriented.

My bewilderment doesn’t stop with films. It’s also with books. I love reading. But the latest New York Times best sellers go over my head. Plots are too complicated for me to follow. Two days on one chapter doesn’t seem right.

I’m even baffled by normal conversations. When someone tells a joke, I wait for the punchline. And I always laugh too late.

I know brain fog is one of the main symptoms of multiple sclerosis. I’ve been dealing with it for years. But I hate when I get confused. And I know it’s not my fault. It’s because my head isn’t right. There really is nothing I can do but wait until it passes.

I can hear the microwave bell ringing. I know that’s the cue we are about to begin the screening. I pull a blanket over my legs. My husband comes back to the couch. I am very determined to understand the movie. But I’m also prepared to pretend to understand the movie.

He looked at me and asked, “Are you ready?”

I said, “Of course I’m ready.”

Then I pulled the popcorn close to me, just in case.

This post originally appeared on My New Normals on June 29, 2020. It is republished with permission.