November 10, 2009

In Pieces

I walk back from my car, trailing a blue suitcase across the uneven grass. Unmowed, craggy, and sparse. It was the house I remembered renting for two-sixty a month, not including gas, electricity, cable, internet, and water. My head felt fuzzy with jet lag, but I hadn't rode a plane, just a two-and-a-half hour car ride from Bay City where my parents (my mom and my step-father Phil) lived. It was disconcerting.

I was in a bad mood that day. The return to college after over a week in two different states--one in which I worked at a large amusement park, and the other where I visited my family--wasn't full of hugs, smiles, and a circle of friends. I was greeted at the door by a messy living room, beer bottles crowded in a triangle on the coffee table and scattered instruments of Rock Band lying abandoned for midnight rides to Steak n' Shake. Climbing the creaking stairs, and turning down the narrow hallway to my room on the end, the cries of lazy college life waved my return home. Dirty clothes, piled blankets, scattered papers... A disorganized mess that I liked to call my own creative expression of inner torment, of an imprisoned soul.

I sat down and stared at myself in every crease of cloth folded over another forgotten homework assignment, not turned in because it had been too late...

That prompted me. What day was it? Oh yeah. Sunday. I just drove from Mom's house. So it's still Sunday. Not Monday. I have time... What am I supposed to do again? Where are my books? Are they still in the car?

I search a little. The mass of junk in my room intimidated me, and I stop after only a few seconds. Knowing if I couldn't remember right away then it wouldn't come back to me for a while yet. All I could do now was wait.

So I sat down and turned on my computer.

I have a horrible memory. Long-term and short-term--all shot to hell. Like a slice of Swiss cheese with more holes than cheese, my life is in flashes, colors, voices, and faces. Rarely do I remember a name before saying it ten times. My daily routine consists of losing my keys, searching for textbooks, notebooks, papers, remembering assignments, remembering which day it is, remembering what classroom I need to go to, what time I have to work, if i have to work, what day is it, did I drive here, where did I park, did I really send that email already?

It never ends.

And in result, I remember my life in pieces. Enough to know I don't remember everything. I remember our cherry tree in our backyard in Washington. The lagoon my mom took us to in Hawaii. My Grandma's pink house on Kansas Circle in Concord, California. My brother, mother, and other family members I also remember. Enough important things to not be suicidal or a shell of a person. Enough history to squeak by.

Now I remember! Something about creative nonfiction, something about writing an essay on... Personal Essay? What's a personal essay? Oh, just a regular essay about yourself.

Myself. I examined my condition and came to two conclusions. Either this is a chemical imbalance akin to my mild bipolarity, or it is a psychological suppression and denial due to some childhood trauma. The chemical imbalance could be taken care of by pills or vitamins depending on the situation--but that was a road walked many times before with my battle over bipolar episodes, involving insults flung back and forth across the dining room table. It would be better to combat if it was psychological.

Result of being hit in the head with a two by four when I was nine, being hit by my father, being yelled at, or my parents divorcing soon afterwards could all be triggers to this condition. However, most likely the event that started this automatic response is forgotten. Locked, with the key dropped down one of the holes in my mind. Into a deep crevasse not even I can explore.

"I love you." becomes a philosophical endeavor of constantly asking myself "do I really feel this way," and it brings up disturbing possibilities that explain everything. Perhaps one day I will forget who I love. How to care. How to write.

Now that would be tragic.

Today might mean nothing tomorrow, and people would blur into each other until everyone's brown with brown hair and blues eyes (or in my case everyone has dirty blond hair, white skin, and brown eyes)

Mental deterioration. Until. Everything. Stops.

People talk about being optimistic, looking at it from another angle. That is, if you can remember from which angle you're looking from, or if there are any other angles. Memory is essential for human development, part of what makes us unique. It forms a natural algorithm to how you function, what your response to certain stimuli will be, and how you will interpret a set of data (such as Beckett's Waiting for Godot).

So far, I am safe. So far, I have enough to squeak by. But, I am afraid of what can happen because with my past gone I only have the present and the future. Right now I look about my room with a sigh choking my words, the feeling of abandonment. From whom I don't know. Friends, family, love, God--or perhaps these are the same thing under a word undefined yet by the English language.

The future... Well, it isn't looking up, so I look down. Measuring the size of the hole before I am pushed by some violent tempest that strikes specifically 209 Fuller Ave SE. In the room upstairs, at the end of the hall...which would be left the same, a cluttered mess as it was before.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I do actually have this condition of memory loss, but it isn't that bad. It gets annoying sometimes.