Thursday, July 27, 2006


For some time I've been trying to figure out how my memory works, how come I forget some stuff immediately and other stuff sticks with me forever. It's not just importance, there's some inconsequential memories that I just can't shake. My mom's theory is that eventually your brain gets full, and every time you learn something after that you have to throw away some other bit of knowledge to make room.
Interesting, but it doesn't explain how I can get to the control switch and decide what to remember and what to jettison.
So, I've been cataloguing things that I cannot forget, looking for a pattern. I'm writing them down in a book called SIRF (which stands for Something I Remember Forever.)
This first one has to do with baseball and food.

SIRF: When I played little league baseball, we always got 10 cents credit at the snack bar after the game was over. Doesn't sound like much, I realize, but you could buy anything you wanted at the snack bar, nothing was over a dime. My teammates usually got a hot dog and/or a Pepsi or potato chips, but I always opted for 10 pieces of grape bubble gum. When you're eight or nine years old and your taste buds haven't been burnt out by coffee and cayenne and beer and years, that burst of chemically-manufactured grapeness can only be described as intense and that flavor rush as addictive. I can still taste it in my mind, I can remember sometimes stuffing all ten pieces into my mouth -- which is probably why I have TMJ and a couple of AWOL molars now, but that's neither here nor there. Occasionally I will see that gum in the store and pick up a couple pieces. But the magic is gone, it's just annoyingly sweet and becomes rubbery and a task, not a joy, to chew within seconds.

There was a kid on my team whose father worked at 7-11, which I thought was absolutely the coolest job imaginable -- who wouldn't love working surrounded by Slurpees, comic books and grape bubble gum? Once he gave me a free Slurpee just because I was on his kid's team -- or maybe it was because I played so crappy that I made his kid look good.

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