This evening I nearly turned myself inside out trying to remember the name of the surly Asian man who lived upstairs in our old building. I remembered that just a couple of weeks before P died, I was complaining that we had termites again and the landlord didn't want to do anything about it, and P said "What's he waiting for, [upstairs guy's name] to fall through?" I remembered that the way he said it made me laugh so hard that he gave me a Who is this crazy woman I married? sort of look and said "It wasn't that funny." I remembered all that, but I couldn't remember the neighbor's name, and it was driving me mad. P would have been able to tell me right away, and the impulse to ask him was overwhelming, but of course I couldn't. It was like having an old floppy disk and no disk drive; I knew the information was stored in P's memory, but I couldn't access it.
I did remember the name eventually: Alan. But it would have been so much easier just to ask P.