Friday, September 9, 2011

I Forgot....

A lot of people I know can’t remember for…well, you know…anymore. 

It’s not really an age related thing…I don’t think…since they’re not really all that old.

I think it’s more of a storage issue.  They just take on so much information in this, the information age, that they just need to purge from time to time. 

So if you remind them of something they said a few years back, like, “You have the most fascinating toes…they remind me of Chiclets...” they’ll look at you as if you just offered to give them a colonoscopy. 

Believe me; if someone tells me my toes remind them of Chiclets, even if it were 50 years ago, I’m not going to forget it. 

Everyone knows my toes look like the original Dentyne…. 

Of course there’s often a calculated reason for forgetting...Chiclets notwithstanding. 

I said that…really?  I don’t remember that.  Are you sure? How do I know you’re not making that up? Really….”

But most of my friends know that doesn’t fly with me cuz I pretty much remember everything.  Not so much specific dates and weather details, like some of those unfortunate folks they did a story about on 60 minutes recently, but certain particulars about individual events in my life that made an impression on me.

And I’m not talking about traumatic events like 11/22/63 or 9/11. Everyone who was around has those dates and details burned into their brains.

No…I mean just silly little dates that stick out in a life.

Like the day my mom dropped me off at kindergarten and I realized right then and there that school was not the thing for me. I was gonna be a writer; what did I need school for?

The day I had my first banana split at Nielsen’s ice cream shop. Sitting at the counter as that scary little hunch backed woman, her grey hair tucked under a weird little net thing, topped off with a funny little hat, brought me this tremendous array of ice cream nestled on a silver dish, surrounded by sliced bananas, chocolates syrup, cherries, whip cream and nuts,  the likes of which I had never seen before.

This scary lady told me I had better finish the whole thing or they would take me out back and whoop me for wasting perfectly good ice cream.  It was also the day I discovered I didn’t like whipped cream but ate it anyway because fear was a powerful motivator. 

Someone will mention a conversation that took place in a bar on a night in 1980 and I’ll recall what we were wearing, what song was playing, who ate what (I’m big with food orders)  who walked in late or left early. Sometimes I’ll even remember what was playing on the car radio on the way over.

Some say I'm freakish that way.

I call it paying attention. 

But I also know that I experience things through some kind of emotional channel that a lot of people don’t. So I think that’s why I remember things that others forget.  And some of those emotions are connected to other sensory stimuli like colors, warmth, cold, happiness even pain…that sort of thing. 

Triggering one thing just leads to another, until suddenly there’s this whole vivid picture before you.  

Maybe it’s all tied into why I can write a little; transferring emotions to a page. 

And maybe that’s why some people don’t write, or think they can’t.

Just different wiring I guess.

I mean it takes me 20 minutes to figure out how much tip to leave for my banana split, whose artistry I still admire.

And while there are memories I would never want to lose, and pity those that have, it’s not always the best of knacks to have, this remembering.

Sometimes I marvel at the things that people are able to forget because sometimes it’s just better that way.

Like Chiclet toes….

Yep…sometimes forgetting is just better….

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