When I was 11 years old I became over the top concerned with the potential loss of memory. By that point in my life we were living in my 4th house and 3rd city and already I felt a lack of permanence. The people around me did not know my stories and had not shared my adventures of previous years so no group memory of clubs, friends and escapades existed. I decided I wanted to start chronicling my life on paper but like my family tree and letters to past friends and family nothing ever materialized until roughly 10 years later when I finally began journaling.
Ironically I have very patchy memories of my teens. The memories are there and come in spurts but its like I’ve blocked them.
I know when I moved to Medford, NJ at 14 years old that I suddenly realized no one knew anything about me, could not verify my stories, and I could become anyone I wanted to be with any past that I so chose to create. I chose the truth and I’d had so many off the wall experiences by that point in my life that even the truth sounded far fetched at times.
At 19 I started blackout drinking and spent the next half a decade give or take with my evening’s actions being commentated to me by others that remembered far more of the night than I ever would. There is one particular 20 minute lapse in my life at 4am in downtown Knoxville with a cute blonde that I’d really like to remember. Am I making a sexual reference? I dunno. It could have been 20 minutes of rejection, sex, smoking or shooting heroin for all I know. (to the best of my knowledge I’ve never shot heroin) I distinctly remember being in the club. I remember the girl. I remember being questioned about where I was and what I was doing but for the life of me I have no recollection of that 20 minutes of my life. Do I want to remember those 20 minutes for the act? No, not really. Mostly I’d like to fill in the blank but that’s just 1 of 1000 such blanks.
Now-a-days names and faces of people that I don’t interact with for two weeks or so quickly fade. It’s very frustrating to recognize someone and not be able to nail down exactly why you know this person or what their name is.
My Alzheimer’s is going to be fun!