Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday Thirteen

1. People remember more about me than I remember about me, sometimes. I find this perplexing and occasionally scary.

2. This is especially true of folks who knew me at certain stages of my life - my teen years, my late 20s, and my mid-30s. Sometimes I run into people I knew from those times. I have no idea who they are. They know who I am.

3. Even now, people I should know say hello to me in the grocery store. I am clueless. I am almost grateful for the mask and the reasons now not to stop and make small talk, when I have no idea what it is I should say.

4. I learned long ago to make generic small talk, ask generic questions, try not to let on that I had no idea who I was speaking with. Sometimes it would come to me days later - Oh! that was so and so. Sometimes I never know. I interviewed hundreds of - maybe more than a 1,000 - people. I can't remember them all, but many remember me.

5. Memory is a strange bird. I have read so much - perhaps I stay lost in story, wandering around like Little Red Riding Hood, seeking my grandmother's lap. I know I'll never find it but here I am, lolling time away in the big bad forest.

6. Some things I remember like they happened yesterday. Many things I do not. Much of the minutia of my life I lost when I shredded my journals earlier in the year. I don't miss it, but sometimes I wonder what exactly I tossed away. I didn't reread them. I'd already lived it once.

7. The other morning I woke with the words, "I remember, we were flying along and hit something in the air," in my mind. I googled them, and found the song DOA by Bloodrock. It came out in 1970. I would have been seven years old. I don't recall anything else about the song, but that first line has stuck with me for 51 years. It's a very gory song about an airplane crash.

8. Other memories include dreams. I have had several reoccurring dreams in my life. One is of a bathtub full of blood; another is a scarecrow chasing me through an apple orchard. Nightmares, both. I seldom dream those dreams now but up until a few years ago, they were a constant.

9. I also have remembered things I couldn't have remembered. My mother told me that when I was about three, I started talking about Scotland, a castle, a graveyard, and a beheading. I went into such detail that it seemed I must have been there, and she forbade me from speaking of it again. She said it left her shaking when I described it.

10. My brain seems to latch on to bad incidents more so than good ones. I remember more bad than good, generally speaking, though if I think hard I can wiggle something good out of a memory or time frame. But it is work. The bad memories fly forth like fireworks from a match. The good memories I have to tease out, like a woman with over-sprayed hair must tear through her locks with a comb to make them behave.

12. One of my earliest memories involves a sandbox. Wind blew sand in my eyes, and it burned. I started screaming. My mother was there and I was running around half blind, shouting, "Call Grandma! Call the fire department!" until my mother could grab me up and rinse my eyes out with water. I wonder how she felt now, as I did not call for her, nor did I even want her help. That must have hurt. What was the reason for my reaction?

13. And lastly, in this strange meme about memory and a tripping down a memory lane full of bricks and overgrown trees, I leave with this - the things we remember are not always our truths. Nor are we our memories. They are but a part of us, and it is up to us to deal with them as we may.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 723rd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.


  1. I love your #13. That gave me peace in a lot of ways. I've copied down your words onto a sticky note...that's how much. I need to re-read that, every day.

  2. #4. I do that all the time. I don't know as many people as you do and haven't interviewed as many, but I have the same problem with people knowing me and my not having any clue who they are. It used to be you could ask "how's the family" but in this divorce age, that's not a good question!

    BTW, I got a notice that you left a message on one of my entries about leaving your phone in the car when you go out to eat, but it hasn't shown up anywhere. Did you delete it?

  3. My earliest memory is of putting a stone in my mouth (like babies would) and wondering if my mom could see me (and tell me to take it out) because I thought she was omniprescent. I love to review my journals and dream books every 10 years of so and find treasures I had forgotton. I keep the blog to help me remember, use it like a personal google.

  4. I will run into people who want to tell me about something I did/happened all those years ago....I could do without it! lol

  5. When you make a comment it gets emailed to me, so I always see it...I just don't know why they aren't printing them.....


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