I'm guessing this was in something like 1997, which would make me 13 or 14. I was spending the night with Ashley Holt. Every time I spent the night with her, we'd sleep on those fold-out cushion chair/bed things. We'd both sleep in the floor. Looking back, there's something that speaks of friendship in that neither of us slept in the bed.
Anyway, we were lying there, lights out, talking. I'm not sure what about. Probably who we thought we were going to marry. Either a thoughtful silence ensued or maybe Ashley fell asleep. But as I watched the glow-in-the-dark star stickers whirl around on her ceiling fan, I began to ponder the concept of memory.
What makes you remember something, I asked myself. Why do I remember stupid little things? Things, that seem to have no significance at all. It would seem that a memory would have a very strong feeling associated with it, be it happiness, fear, disappointment, and so on. But many of my memories are just memories. So that night, I promised myself I would remember that moment. I wasn't experiencing any obvious emotion. I supposed it was my own little experiment in the realm of memory.
Last night, for the first time, I remembered that memory. It was triggered by a passage in a book that didn't hold all that much significance. But it reminded me. And though I could not find a feeling to attach with that moment at Ashley's at the time, the remembering brought about a feeling I hadn't expected. It was akin to that cold shudder I get in my chest when I talk about love or Nana. It was akin to that hollow pit I feel in my stomach when I think about the time before my sister got married.
I can't explain these feelings. They are both physical and emotional. It's not longing. It's not melancholy. I think it's the feeling of being alive.
The most strangely uneventful moments fill my memory. I remember a man named Bill showing me his callouses from playing guitar when I was probably five years old. I remember going through the McDonald's drive-thru with Becca, and we told her mom that meander was on our spelling list that week. I remember Holly's brother showing me his WWF underoos probably 6 or 8 years before Holly and I became friends. I remember a lady who called the waiting room at the hospital when Victoria was being born thought I was somehow else and told me I sounded "chipper" when I answered the phone.
I don't know why I remember these things. They are just simple moments of life. And for that reason, I'm glad I remember them.
"For everyone, there's a person, place, or time that brings you back and makes you feel alive." Better Than Ezra, "Cry in the Sun"