Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Just the other day, a semi-funny, semi-pathetic experience from my past came back to me because of a dream I had in which one of my ex-boyfriends appeared briefly. And I was sort of thinking to myself, "Gee, should I tell that story on my blog? It's pretty funny, and it was pretty telling about the relationship and what would eventually happen to it..." and I started planning out how I would write it. I was going to tell you about this ex-boyfriend, a dental student (me, holder of the title of World's Worst Dental Phobic--that's a story in and of itself) who I dated for almost seven years, and how he had these roommates the last year (or was it two?) of dental school, and what those two dental-student-girls did to me--with my permission, because I Am An Idiot sometimes--one Halloween.

But then I got off on a tangent, just like I'm doing here. Because while I can clearly remember one of the girls--of course I can, since she's who the ex-boyfriend dumped me for, and they're now married and living their little dental lives with their little dental children--I can not for the life of me remember the other one. Not her name, not her face. I have this vague, niggling feeling that I even had another, slight, connection to her, but that may not be true at all. But it sort of weirded me out. Because I spent almost every weekend for a year (or was it two?) in a house with these girls. We went to parties together. We had meals together at times. And I have ABsolutely no memory of her, except that I know there were two girls in that house.

This is no isolated incidence. My memory of my past is so sketchy as to be almost worrisome. My sister recently recounted a painful memory of hers from childhood, and it was like hearing a story about a stranger, though I supposedly was IN THE ROOM when it happened. A girl I went to grade school with for years contacted me a few years ago, and even after looking at my school photos, and even after meeting her in person and having a lovely lunch with her and all that, I simply couldn't remember her. Not at all. And she says that she and I did a skit or a song or something in a talent show together. No memory of it. No memory of ever being in a talent show, either.

And then, just the other night, Baroy and I pulled down all the photos from when Em was a baby (poor N; his entire childhood is digitally stored, so he's never going to have the fun of going through boxes and boxes of mixed-up photos and trying to figure out how old he was in each one, the way Em was doing), and in there were pictures from Before Em, including me talking to a couple of girls I used to work with...AND I COULDN'T REMEMBER THEIR NAMES. That was MAYBE 10 years ago. What the fuck is wrong with me?

I had a rough childhood, I guess, in terms of 'things' happening. My parents were among the first in the neighborhood to get divorced, then my stepdad's first wife died (I've talked about how close I was to her), then my father remarried, then my half-sister came along and got sick (I've talked about that, too) and things turned upside-down in that part of my world, then my dad left the country for years and rarely, if ever, came home...but, really, I was a happy kid. Bookish. Nerdy. But happy. There's really no reason for large swathes of my life to have disappeared like this. And it doesn't end with childhood. Heck, the story I was going to tell happened maybe 13 years ago; I was in my mid-to-late 20s. This shouldn't be like trying to remember your kindergarten teacher.

I'm sure there's some deep-rooted psychological reason for this. And I'm sure that it's somehow connected to my--and my sister's--near-pathological ability to banish people from our lives with little to no emotion. But I'll tell you, it's a little weird when you're sitting and looking at a picture of people you KNOW you really liked and you KNOW you spent time with, and their names just won't come, and the memories are so hazy that the only thing you know is that you have memories.

It's a little weird. And it's a little scary. And it's a little sad. If only I could remember what I'm sad about.

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