Thursday, October 16, 2008

Memory

Memory is such a funny thing. Really, what is it for? other than to help us survive. You know, so you can remember how to get to the hunting grounds, remember that the good drinking water is over here, and remember that wal-murt is having a sale.

Sure, those are all the practical uses, the good things. Then there is the shadowy side of memory: Nostalgia. ( I capitalized it for the effect) Memory can color your past so that it is maybe more palatable. For example, in high school you were a depressed, self-absorbed nerd. (this isjust hypothetical) but twenty years later, you think of yourself as having been this sort of, avant garde hipster who was ahead of the curve. ( I guess that sort of sums up everyone who was into punk in the 80's then defined the nineties?)

Those memories can be kind of appealing, really you were very cool; you were just the only person who knew. And it is your memory, so hold on to it. This story has more of a point than that.
Let's say that you did not keep in touch with anyone you went to High school with, you lost touch the last day of classes your senior year. That is even better for your memories.
Only, one day it dawns on you that, "I was a really a self absorbed, depressed, nerd and not as cool as I thought" (this all comes to you a few years later, while you are making Latte's for the theater crowd, while listening to Eric Clapton's Unplugged album and one of the patrons suggests listening to something more...progressive. You sneer at him and say Eric Clapton is fuckin cool.)

So, then you think hey, if I still lived in the same town, not 800 miles away, I might be able to be in touch with those people. You are looking around you at the friends you have and realize that they have known each other since they were in grade school. And feel like you have not kept in touch with your past. Granted there are down sides to being that in touch but I digress. Sometimes in order to stay present I think it is good to have the past clarified. And when you keep in touch with those who grew up with you it can help.

A funny thing happened to me. In the past few months I have, on Facebook, gotten in touch with a few of the people who I spent my senior year of High school with. I have not seen or talked to them since the last day of classes in 1989. It was my most, up to that point, tumultuous year. (that is over stated) I don't need them to tell me what I already know, but it would be great if they can tell me what they were like.

4 comments:

Rabacal said...

I was pretty clueless and lost. Weren't we all? If you could go back, knowing what you know now, would you change anything?

Beat Dad said...

Yes and Yes. There are lots of things I would change. The main one would be less fearful. Funny thing is, I am less fearful now. There are other things though.

Jess said...

Hey man, who are you calling a self absorbed nerd? I was cool, I tell you, cool, just misunderstood. Now, excuse me while I put on some black clothing and listen to the Smiths and go read The Tibetan Book of the Dead in a dark basement with lacy curtains for a while...

Just a note from your past, here...

Tawn said...

I was sad, angry and did not know where I fit in, not only at school but at home as well. Self destructive and moody. But that's about every teenager that was or will be. I guess it all comes down to collateral damage, some escape with minor injuries while others are mortally wounded. It all depends on if you got the wares to lick your wounds and move on.