Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Mind is a Sieve...

          I have been repeating myself for weeks now. My friends have told me so. I have long had a tendency toward forgetfulness in the short term but this seems to have been exacerbated as of late. A friend of mine had to refresh my memory on an entire conversation in which I had assured her that I would give her a ride to our friend's show on the North Shore. When one of my tires went defunct, I literally had zero recollection of said conversation. Of course, there was little I could do about it at that point. Even while writing this, I had to look up the supplement my friend suggested I start taking for my memory, because I could not remember it. I think it was gingko biloba...

          If I happen to mention to an older person, the fact that I often walk into a room and have forgotten what it was is I went in there for, I will inevitably be told that I am too young to start doing that. I, however; have memories of doing that at age nine. In fact, the two things probably go hand in hand. Because I have several memories from as early as age two, and many vivid memories from throughout my entire childhood and beyond, there seems to be less room for the other stuff. It seems that one only has so much room before things just start fallin' out the brain.

          I have always noticed that some people seem more geared toward remembering things from 20 years ago and others from 4 hours ago. My mother, for example, is of the latter persuasion. If you ask her to pick up bread on her way home, she has a remarkable ability to actually remember it. If you ask me to pick up bread every day for a month, there is a fairly good chance that I would forget it every day for a month. Fortunately I have learned to write literally everything down.

          Now, if you were to ask me about something like what I wore on my first day of kindergarten, I would know. It was a striped pink and blue dress with a dog in a doghouse on it. I also carried a hand-me-down pig backpack, piggy-side against my chest, because I was embarrassed by it. And you can't say this is based on photos. I was too cautious to allow photos of the offending pig backpack, which I only consented to carry for the one day. In this respect, I am one of a few unofficial record-keepers for my childhood friends. One friend recently called me asking me to remind her of what she did for the summer after our sophomore year of college, (true story).

          My mother, on the other hand, seems to have forgotten entire years of her life, (and I don't mean the 1960's). I just mean that she has almost no memories before age five. As a thirteen year old, when my mother said she had very little recollection of what it was like to be thirteen, I attributed this to the fact that she was an older mother and that thirteen was so long ago, she couldn't remember. As an adult, I realize that she actually can't remember a lot of things from two years ago, or certainly not in the detail that I can. This acute long-term memory of mine is quite useful in terms of many things, like this blog for example, but not so useful when trying to remember whether I put on deodorant this morning, (fairly certain I did today).

          Now, as for this more intense bout of premature senility of late, there is very little that can explain it other than a complete temporary lack of free time and the necessity of pounding a four act French opera into my brain. I don't mean to complain. I am completely thrilled and excited to be singing the title role in Cendrillon. It's just that when I am in the thick of rehearsals, I am so consumed with, say, the drama and excitement of the first act ensemble or the beauty of the third act duet, (it rips your heart out of your ass), that I find myself wishing that the other stuff would just go away- you know, like the laundry piling up next to my hamper, the dishes, the car tire that needs replacing. Then we head into the opera's tech week, (on top of my 40 hour work week), and I wouldn't have time for those chores even if I tried. As I become frazzled by the chaos around me, many of the other details, like that ride I promised you or that thing I said I would do, also seem to fall by the wayside of my mind.

          It's also that... Even now, upon leaving this half-finished entry for a few days, I realize that I had started the previous sentence and now have no recollection of how I intended to finish it! Friends, I beg you- if you run into me in the next week or two and you have something important to tell me, repeat yourself ad nauseam until I write it down. I only have myself to blame for your repetition.

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