Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Love/Hate Memory

I love my memory as it seems to be better than the average person. I can vividly recall my preschool room, the kindergarten room, and the arcade that I played my first driving simulator at. It is amazing to be able to see those places in my mind as if I were actually there and to be able to all but smell the room and see the lights of the rooms and the bells and whistles of the arcade.

I hate my memory as people aren't a part of it. I have been to so amazing places and met phenomenal people, but I don't remember them in my memory. I joke with police officers in my police presentations that, should I be a witness to something, I would, "not remember the unless they were 10ft tall or had five arms".

I love my memory because I can still be in another time. Daily I experience the trip to Las Vegas I had in 2003 and the many miles of Interstate 70. I can still recall the scenery and the emotion I felt when I got to the end of I-70 in Utah. I can remember the snacks I bought at each gas station and the comment one sales clerk made to me that I should not drink the four Red Bulls in one sitting.

I hate my memory because I don't recall any person on my trip to Vegas. I so badly want to remember people, but it is so hard to even look at a person much less remember them. There is so much information to be processed that my mind doesn't even allow a tid-bit of info to be processed. Scenery is simple as it doesn't have minute changes. Rooms are easy because they are static, people are another issue. Posture, emotion, and composure all change each second. If you see a person one day, and the next they wear a different outfit and have a hair cut one might not even be able to recognize the difference. I always missed when my girlfriend changed her hair style, but that's because it was like seeing her for the first time each time.

I love my memory for it's ability to recall conversations. When talking to someone I can go back and continue a conversation we had years ago. Usually this makes no sense to the other person and I have to set the stage to get them to remember, but very rarely will I be unable to remember a conversation.

I hate, no, HATE my memories inability to remember the other person in those conversations. I'd give anything to remember one thing about the girl I talked to in Minneapolis in 1999 (see my book for that story). For the first time in my presentations she got mentioned yesterday and the 11 year mark will happen on July 2nd. I remember the conversations and I remember the intense UNO games that game down to single points, and I remember the fact that a pastor from Montana joined us in a game, but I don't remember a single thing about either person. I'd give anything to remember one thing, just one.

Often times I feel alone in public. Even around those I consider friends I feel isolated. Perhaps it isn't the presents fault as no matter how hard I try to remember I am always alone in my memories, a world where no one exists except me.


  1. Ow. This makes my heart hurt.

  2. Aaron, I agree with gail. I wish you had people to inhabit your memories.

  3. My son will soon turn 8 years old. It has always amazed me that he could watch a movie and then see it again years later, literally movies he had watched at age 2 or 3, and still remember every line. he can even act out the scenes. I always thought this was a gift, to have such a memory. I gotta be honest with you, I worry about him constantly. I just want him to have a happy life and get to do the same things other kids get to do. all the so called "experts" seem to be so vague in how to help him. it's very frustrating. as of now, he's not interested in anything that has to do with anyone other than his family. He doesn't seem to remember people either. God Bless, Aaron. Thanks for helping mom's like me.