20 October 2003

It isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can
remember, as the number of things I can remember that 
aren't so.
   - Mark Twain, a Biography

Try as I might, I can't keep facts straight from place to place, year to year, person to person. Not that I'm a natural-born liar, although as a writer, I do have family members, friends, and even enemies who are willing to attest to exactly that, it's just that there are too damned many things going on at any one time, for me to be able to hold it in memory, and retrieve it upon command (usually my beloved's).

By the time I am focused well enough to store one thing properly, sixteen others (or more) have come sailing under the bridge, and are long gone downstream before I can even make the most cursory glance in their direction. What results is a jumble -- a mismatch of this event with that person or place, resulting in some outcome that I firmly fix in my memory as 100% accurate.

The outcomes of such mismatches can be alternately hilarious, or hair-raising. Family wars erupt when I recall my parents' instructions to me for living ("No, no, RB, nobody said 'leave home.' We said, 'You need to get your own life,' and you ran off like your tail was on fire." My friends cringe as I re-tell their own stories to them, blithely attributing the worst and most intimate details to "somebody I know." I hardly ever remember them as the sources. I am certain this is why there are so many people reluctant to confide in me -- who knows what peculiar spin will be imparted, or in whose direction the story will be aimed?

And don't even get me started on passwords. It took me five tries before I finally gave up, and asked the blogging company to resend me not only my password, but also my username. I can't seem to carry more than three of each in my personal storage device (read, my brain) at any give point in time. I also can't guarantee that the most recent one in will be one of the three I remember.

If this is what "senior moments" are all about, let the seniors keep them. I've got enough to worry about, without forgetting everything I ever knew (or thought I knew).

Excuse me. What was I just talking about?


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