There are some people who seem to have photographic memory of their delivery room…and every incident after then. I’m lucky if I remember a half-dozen things from way back then.
I’ve got a memory of an incident with me, my Mom, a wedding and a pickle. I remember a Wizard of Oz moment on my bike in a vicious thunderstorm. I recall a massive stomach ache from over-eating fresh chives from my neighbor’s garden. And a terrifying fishing experience on the dock of my Grandparents’ house.
That’s about it. If I strain really hard, I can remember fleeting memories in bits and pieces. My sister claims vast knowledge of my youth and, though I doubt many of her claims, my incidental memory is so fuzzy, I can’t dismiss her totally out of hand.
I’ve ruminated on this some and I believe it simply means I was so self-involved, so in my own world, I didn’t sear a lot of images from the rest of the world around me at the time.
With all that, it’s funny that I have such strong memories of people. Or, to be more precise, personalities.
If you were to ask me about most of the people I’ve worked or played with over the years, I would be hard pressed to describe them to you with enough detail that you would recognize them.
But if you asked me what those people were like, how they acted and their personalities…that’s something I remember well.
The stubborn ones, the funny ones, the quiet ones, the earnest ones…on and on, I could describe to you the type of people I’ve known throughout my life.
Maybe it’s the writer in me or maybe it’s what sparked the writer in me; that’s a chicken or the egg conversation, the kind that never gets resolved.
All I know is I remember the laughing, the anger, the frustration and the caring that specific individuals caused, all the way back to kidhood, far more than I remember faces and names.
I don’t know if that makes me shallow or weird or maybe, not much different from a lot of people. I’m just not one of those that have a historical map in my head for incidents and people.
I just remember the personalities.