11 February 2008

Keeper of the minutiae

Apparently I now have to stop talking about D- as if he's not in the room, because he's officially Not Oblivious To Anything anymore. I've tried not to do this for a long time now, but I slip into it every so often, mostly because we all do it so much with M-.

Last night, I was telling a story about how the other day, I had D- feed M- while I was making D-'s lunch, but I couldn't remember what food it was that he was feeding her. So I just moved past that detail, talking about the two of them as if they were chimpanzees picking nits off each other, when all of a sudden D-, sounding for all the world like an actual person, said "Mac and cheese... it was mac and cheese."

The fact that he remembers this insignificant detail regarding maybe 3 minutes of his life most of a week later (which in kid-years is probably about a month) tells me that he is destined to be blessed and cursed with a memory like mine. I am tormented by at least hundreds of millions of pointless tidbits from my life and others', along with plot lines to movies and shows I don't even like, lyrics to songs I hate, and useless trivia about people who annoy me.

And given that, I figure it won't be long before he gets that bored look in his eyes whenever I open my mouth, until he can correct me, point by point, out of a sense of compulsive duty as much as disdain for my inferiority. At least for now, his tone just indicates he's glad to help.

As for me, the source of his burden, the only thing that lets me forget things is a lack of sleep, though having endured this for so many years now, I have found that I rely on my traditionally complete retention for so many things, that by comparison I now think I know what Alzheimer's must feel like.

In particular, I currently remember less about my life in the past 4 years (coincidence? I think not) than would a 22nd-century D student after skimming a 1-page summary of my entire life just before a quiz on historical figures who failed to live up to their potential. Why I would even be on such a quiz, I'm not sure, but let's just say I invented a unique kind of food on a stick, then died tragically in a comical, insomnia-related accident. Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

As life crowds your brain with minutia it will push important memories further and further down so you can't remember your doctor's appointment on Wednesday but you can remember your 5th grade field trip and where you sat on the bus.

LiteralDan said...

Unfortunately, I'm already suffering this problem... sigh