December 16, 2011

Memory can be funny, but I forget why

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 7:27 pm

Friday morning 10:00 am, posted in the evening.

I got an email from David McMullen last night, Ellen Dawson‘s biographer. I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that we had been in communication, that he had told me he was doing a Wikipedia piece on her and hoped to finish it up after the holidays.

Great embarrassment.

It’s a very good thing indeed that I didn’t have that extra day to finish up the piece on her, otherwise I would have felt like a total jerk instead of half a jerk. Anyway, he was very nice and complimentary and I apologized profusely for having blanked out our previous communication.

It’s weird how memory can shut something like that out. I’m reminded of going back to Eureka, California for my 25th high school reunion. I had stayed up to date with names and exploits of many of my classmates through my best friend, Dave Adams, who was much like Farris Bueller in that the jocks, socials, gearheads, brains, etc. all thought he was a “righteous dude.” Dave had multiple citizenship in high school social cliques and got along with everyone.

Dave worked in a local Safeway store as a department manager, and he was seeing classmates all the time. Everybody goes to the grocery store, after all. I’d visit him once a year and he’d always get out the old high school yearbooks (that I never owned) and we’d flip though and he’d give me the rundown on this person or that, what they were doing, who was getting divorced or married again, or had kids or surgery or died.

So anyway, over the years I was kept up to speed. And when it was time I drove down for the EHS 25th… (I actually graduated from Crescent Valley HS in Corvallis, Oregon because my family moved in the middle of my Junior year, but that’s quite another story.)

At the dinner that evening there was good old Chuck Annis. We had had classes together since like 5th grade. He gave me the nickname “Mouse” β€” a play on “Timothy Mouse” of Disney fame, which was ironic in my case since I was tall and gangly and most un-mouselike. I had the nickname for a couple years. We played in band together all through Junior High β€” he played tuba, I played drums, back row of the room sort of instruments.

So anyway, I went up to Chuck to say hello.

And he did not know me.

At all.

I don’t mean to say he didn’t recognize me β€” he honestly didn’t know of my existence, I had been completely erased from the hard drive spinning inside his head.

That was…………. disconcerting.

What’s worse: a couple people came up to me to say hi and I did the exact same thing to them.

But forgetting ever having corresponded with a person back-and-forth twice just two weeks ago?!?

That’s really weird.


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