Some of them are easily explained, and most of them are not. As you know, I don’t experience time the way I think that most people do Another thing is that I never, ever, EVER forget things that people say to me. What’s strange is that I’m super detail oriented, but I’m not necessarily great with names. It has to stick and I need to hear them at least twice, usually. It’s not even a forgetful thing. It’s that I’m already doing a full scan/psychoanalysis/taking in of this new person in front of me so the name bounces right off me while I factor in anything and everything else.
Mostly then, I remember it for life, but there are many times in which it gets lost in the details of short and long-term memory. It’s like they fly around as shiny, rapid-fire balls in a pinball machine – some things stick, some get thrown around, some are easily lost, and some take their time for a hole in one. Here’s my thing. I never forget the things that people say to me. So I might not remember your name, but I’ll remember that at our first conversation, we talked about the quality of rainbow sprinkles in ice cream parlors vs. grocery stores. Maybe your dog was hit by a car when you were 15 and you still think about that dog on your drive to work every day. Maybe you’re from Oklahoma, and you’re the only person I’ve ever met from Oklahoma.
There’s more than one downside to remembering everything, but the plus sides are awesome! It makes for incredible writing inspiration, and although I don’t write fiction (although I suppose I could do it and be darn good at it) it helps with my creative non-fiction. I think I’d be an incredible detective, the way I scan and analyze people to death, only, it’s more like I analyze them to life. It’s because I need to feel safe, and especially now that I have kids. I need you to make me feel safe and if you don’t, I’ll know instantly. And that’s partly why I don’t forget things.
- I wish I could forget in sixth grade when the terrible blonde twin made fun of my hair and called me ugly. I know I used to analyze people when I was a kid, but nothing like I do today. Today I would have run away had I looked her in the eyes as who I am now.
- I wish I didn’t remember that my dad once called me heavy-footed because now I walk light as rain, everywhere I am and I go, and you’ll never hear me coming. I realize now that I sound like I’d make an excellent psychopath because I remember everything and you wouldn’t hear me coming, but don’t worry. I’d pass my own psychoanalysis.
- I wish I didn’t remember an argument with Cassidy that was particularly hurtful and damaging. Not that there was only one argument (in fact, I remember a dozen), but there are the ones in which the words aren’t easily, or ever, forgotten. And I wish they were.
- I wish I could forget that summer day – walking with my friends past a group of high school boys whispering about us and rating us and comparing us. As if we were prizes they got to select, when in fact, we WERE prizes, and ones they would never get to select.
- I wish I could forget the darker things you have said to me about other people, or what you think about me or even what you think about you, because I have kept/will keep the secrets but it changes the way I view the world, and it changes the way I view you.
And there are so many things I’m glad I didn’t forget.
Like the sound of my father’s laughter, and how he corrected my grammar when I said “even” but meant “also.” Or the tiny sounds both kids made when they were first born into the bright light, which weren’t cries at all but were more like indignant and overwhelmed squawks.
There are so many things I wish I could remember, like ancient lullabies – both sung to me and sung by me – and being carried from car to bed, safe and secure, waking up to a bright morning with no memory of how I got there. And, knowing I surely smiled in my sleep along the way.
Hugs and kisses and conversations I never knew were going to be the last, so I never got lost in them or remembered all the hows, whys, whens, and wheres of how they came to pass.
I wish I could always remember – who I am, what I’ve overcome, what I’ll always fight for, and the quiet power that has gotten me through hard times, and will do so again and again.
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FFTS) for another great prompt. This week’s topic is “I wish I could forget…” And there’s still time to write yours. Link up HERE.