Saturday, June 10, 2017


Strange. I was talking this morning about a girl I was involved with some 12 years ago, and I said at the time that both she and I were married to other people when we began our relationship. The more I thought about this, however, the more aware I became that I really don't remember whether she was married or not. I remember nothing about a divorce. Was she just living with a guy, or was she married? I don't know. This sort of thing happens to me often enough, but it still surprises me every time. It is as if someone snuck in during the night and gave me a lobotomy. Parts of my brain have been removed! Or, rather, parts of my memory. And I don't get to decide which parts. Multiple sclerosis makes that decision, though, of course, without intelligence or malice or intention. It's just "zap", and it's gone. Moreover, it seems able to touch any part of memory from any time, choosing yesterday, or a decade ago, or a half century ago at random. I actually wish that I could call this girl on the phone and investigate my own past for the sake of overall cohesion. Sadly, however, I don't remember her last name, and even that may have changed by now anyway. This sort of thing always fascinates me, and is part of the "fun" of MS. Where is memory stored? How is it that memory's components, whatever those are, can be located by a physical disease process and erased? When I do remember something distinctly, am I remembering an actual event, or is it an invention that has substituted for authentic memory? How much of what any of us remembers is invention for the sake of narrative direction? 

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