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Monday, October 20, 2008

Selective Memory?

I live in a very small town. Well, no. Actually, I don't live in a town at all; in truth, I live in the middle of nowhere, about ten miles from town.

I've lived out here in the sticks for pretty much ever, and I like it. I like knowing all my neighbors (though not socializing, because socializing makes me cringe), and being able to look out my window at the countryside.

The tiny town north of me is where I graduated from high school.

Ah, high school. To be honest, I don't really remember a whole lot about high school. I can't tell you who my favorite teacher was, or my favorite class, or my favorite lunch, or my best friend. I'm assuming my best friend was Sarah, or maybe Mary, or Tim, but I can't remember. I do remember smoking outside the principal's window and not getting caught.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. But it is a bit unnerving to be grocery shopping in your very small town, and have people come up and talk to you, and they know your name and everything, but you just can't place them. That freaks me out a little. I always play along, and sometimes the name comes to me, but generally I walk away having no clue who I just talked to. Oddly, some of these people are people I considered good friends just eight or nine years ago, and they have been completely erased from my memory. (For the record, I didn't use enough drugs to burn out my brain. Or maybe I did, I can't remember.)

Saturday, The Hub and I took our four kids, plus my stepdaughter, to a corn maze up the road. Its a little farm market too, and you had to pay for the maze inside the market. I dragged all the children in (and of course they played with all the funky gourds and stuff, and I thought for sure I'd be paying for some smashed up curcurbits) and checked out the apple cider while The Hub paid for the maze. For some reason I looked up at him from across the room, and, admittedly, my heart did a little flipflop, but then I noticed the person he was talking to.

The guy at the counter was not someone who meant anything to me whatsoever - he was just a guy who went to my school. It was bizarre though - I can never remember any of my friends, but I knew this guy immediately. I could tell he recognized me too, and in that second I wasn't in a little farm market in Bum Fuck Michigan, but in Junior year English, working on a class project about Spontaneous Combustion with goofy farm market guy.

I quick gathered up the children and took them out to see the petting zoo, and before long The Hub was meeting up with us. We went through the corn maze, and it was a ton of fun despite pushing a huge double stroller, and before long I had once again completely forgotten my old schoolmate.

About an hour later, we exited the maze. The children were laughing excitedly as they ran towards the building to exchange their tokens for candy. (This particular maze was also a treasure hunt, and each token could be exchanged for pieces of cheap Halloween candy.) The Hub and I followed, and we met up with the kids at the building, and there stood Farm Market Guy's twin brother.

I had completely forgotten that he had a twin brother, but once I saw him, I was instantly in Sophomore history class, debating with him about why Geoffery Feiger should win the run for Governor, instead of incumbent John Engler. Twin Brother didn't seem to recognize me, and chatted with The Hub amiably.

It's all so strange to me - of all the people I went to school with, why should these two be the ones I remember? I doubt I would recognize any of the old crowd, even if they were cutting my hair (which one of them was, and I didn't know her). Those kids were totally unimportant to me, but they were the ones I remembered.

I wonder if anyone like that ever remembers me?

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