Tuesday, January 03, 2006

old friends, bookends

Bouncing around the blogosphere can unearth the oddest memories.

Ann Althouse is appalled at a new film project: a movie about John Lennon's murderer, who will be portrayed by the ever-pretty Jared Leto.

And Nina, in her typically clever way, riffed on the Simon & Garfunkel tune Homeward Bound, giving the lyric
on a tour of one night stands,
my suitcase and guitar in hand
an Ocean-specific twist.

And suddenly, it's 1981 again: the combined mentions of Lennon's murder and Simon & Garfunkel will always conjure memories of my much-too-serious high school boyfriend. It's hard to say who of us was the bigger idiot back then, but none of it matters at all now. We exchanged emails (Forgive me for being a jerk? --What!? Of course -- and you forgive me too, right?) around the time of our high school's 20th reunion; neither of us were able to attend. I don't know anything about him now, but I'd guess that the man he has become is about as different from the boy he was, as I am different now from the girl I was.

But in my memory, he's still the same boy, and I am still that same girl, and we're still so tangled up we had to hack our way out with machetes. Thank God it's just a memory and I'll never have to go through something like that again.

I noticed just now, though, this trick my memory plays. When I remember a painful experience (like a bad breakup, or childbirth), I don't feel the pain again, I just remember, That hurt. But when I remember there was joy or love or passion, I can feel those things, not exactly as I did then, of course, but a sort of refracted version of those emotions, having passed through time's prism. That's cool.

I wasn't always like this, because I can remember when certain memories would leave me feeling flayed alive, completely exposed and unable to control my tears. What happened to me? Whether it's the distance of time or the weight of experience, I don't know. Maybe it happens to everyone. I'm glad it happened to me.


Sheik Yerbootie said...

You were in high school in 1981?

High school?

Good lord... :>)

Tracey said...

Ah high school. I graduated in 1981. Sigh... I'm SO glad THAT'S over. Let's just say the "flayed alive" feeling got me more than a few times and I am SO glad that I can't call up the feelings again. Yikes. There may be some experiences in life I'd like a do-over on, but certainly NOT school. LOL