Sunday, August 31, 2014
Data Access Error -- Code 203
Written in response to a friend who was surprised I recalled some details from a conversation we had a couple of decades ago...she said she wished she had a memory like mine and asked for any memory improvement hints. I replied:
I don't think you really want a memory like mine, sweet girl! It's functioning is really bizarre. We were walking out behind your apartment, and I remember the conversation and how you looked that day quite distinctly, well... I couldn't tell you what you were wearing, bit I recall the look on your face. On the other hand, as I have been wont to confess of late because it's getting hard cover up, many times I don't remember people I know very well.
Sometimes I'll talk to someone (and I know I know that person really well) and I'll try to cover up because it hurts people' feelings when you admit you don't really remember them. They think was because they were not important to you, which is not true. It's because I have a very strange memory. Sometimes even weeks later I will suddenly the remember who that person was and think oh my Lord what an opportunity I passed up to catch up on old times!
It's actually been a problem since I was a little kid. Not recognizing even close friends from time to time. But it's gotten much worse as I've grown older. I suppose there is some elaborate psychological or scientific term for it, but the fact is I would happily not remember details so well if I could remember everything in general more accurately.
Sometimes i see a face. I think, do I know that person? Sometimes it turns out I do and then again sometimes it turns out I don't. A lot of times I don't try to check because, as I said, it's embarrassing to admit it.
I was in line behind a woman I knew I recognized. But I just couldn't place her name. Finally I broke down and asked her. It was Shirley Leary! I mean, I'd only known her for 30 years. Okay, I haven't seen her in a few years, but still!
I'm fond of telling people that it is said that FDR had a forested mind. Meaning a mind with a rich ecology and many varied forms of life, or in this case, ideas. I then note that I have swampy mind. It doesn't look like much at first glance, but you never know what's going to bubble up to the surface, hang around for a while, and then sink slowly out of sight again.
My family is becoming accustomed to it. James takes a lot of time to try to get me to remember certain individuals that he knows I knew very well at one time, and sometimes it does work and I do remember them. Other times it doesn't.
I miss those old walks...