I cleaned my spare room, which was like cleaning out my closet, except for the fact that my goal was to move everything into the closet instead of letting it lay on the floor.
After moving my bed from the now-spare to the adjacent room, the spare was mostly composed of trinkets and papers I didn’t know what else to do with. May as well throw them on the floor and worry about it later. It got so bad I had to clean and vacuum, just in case I ever ran into a situation where I’d need to house someone (this never happens.) The experience shook me enough to talk to myself. There’s a bit I regret, but there’s a lot I just don’t remember. I don’t remember writing this, this is a sweet card from someone I know but had completely forgotten about, here is an extra cable to some electronic device I bought and now can’t recall which. The tokens are a collection of my apathy, the kind that develops when everyone is so great to you that the few who aren’t so great leave a deeper wound than is normal. Your parents buy you the latest video game console every Christmas and birthday and you’re appreciative, but you don’t retain it in your mind as a beautiful moment. It’s life, for me. I am allowed to crash on couches.
I enrolled at IPFW for the Spring of 2008, the semester after I withdrew from my first stint at Winthrop. That’s an odd fact I always forget about myself, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others didn’t even know. At the last possible second, in the last possible moment before I had to move on, I chose to return to school. My parents helped me sign up, I went to an advisor to register for the remaining classes (he was old and hairy, in a cool way, I remember that), and then on the first day of the first class I misjudged the amount of time it would take to drive across town so I missed class and got upset and didn’t go to one at all. Only two days went by before I admitted it, and I must have admitted it but I don’t remember the moment of doing so. I don’t know if my parents had to pay for it. They still say they’ll take care of it, which I’d feel a bit less guilty about if I don’t keep remembering these silly mistakes that cost thousands.
There was my first job, at the zoo, cleaning up after wintertime, that was intensely physical and I had a breakdown over it after only two weeks. My supervisor had a hook for a hand. So that’s cool. I don’t think I ever spoke to the woman that hired me except for the first day on the phone, and I do remember walking in the back entrance one day and having the smoking ladies look at me funny, then tell me where to go. I wonder how I looked. I wonder if my eyes were glassy. Because I can’t remember people names or street names, just assorted emotions of vague time periods. The zoo wasn’t listed on my resume, because I don’t know how not to be ashamed of it. Really, similar things would happen later.
I barely remember my first kiss. It’s important to me, now, and I’ve put enough puzzle pieces together. It’s a jumble. It was five in the morning, which is my best excuse. My nineteen-year-old tongue celibacy was shattered, and it felt good, but aside from that nostalgic physical sensation, I don’t recall much. She pulled me in after I pulled her in, an action I couldn’t have seen myself doing then or now. So sudden, so passionate, the whole lot if it, and it appears my brain was so overwhelmed by the action that it shut itself down. I doubt I made the conscious decision to “forget it” and now unconsciously actually forgot it. It stung my lip and my lip stung my head, and this perfectly teenage moment others wistfully remember is locked up for me. When I write, I have to make up details. The romance is there, not so much the imagery.
The past year or two seem to have a greater impact in my long-term memory, or at least I’m not forgetting these important life tales in three months’ time. This entirely random tangent is brought to you by my own curiosity regarding memory loss via clinical depression. My general attitude of the years 2007-2010 was of “This doesn’t matter”, a sentiment mostly true but now dealt with significantly better. While I’d rather not have my greatest stories be at age seventeen, there are great advances in human life I’ve, apparently, let my brain totally gloss over. Maybe it’s one of those secret concussions. Maybe I’ll be going through some old papers and suddenly throw them across the room when I say “Oh my God, I have a CHILD?!”