Moby always remembers where the warm, uneven spot is.
When we met up with D's parents at their hotel in preparation for their son's wedding, D's dad commented on my packing. Made a point of explaining his own utter inability to be organized. We were in someone else's temporary lodgings, I had to keep our stuff contained just not to lose something essential. Since we pack so lightly, everything is essential, or I wouldn't have brought it. I made myself a cup of tea, my own immersion heater, mug and tea bag.
But getting everything organized is not a natural skill for me, I have to work very hard at it. Over fifteen years as an RN, especially in the OR, has honed these skills to a fine edge. I still struggle with verbal instructions if I can't write them down. So I double check and check again. For all his distractibility, D picks up where I leave off. Even he has learned to make lists and use them. And we know we will forget something, like the photo downloading device for the trip. Ahem.
On a car trip to the Grand Canyon with my parents when I was nine, I lost a lovely pair of real leather sandals. Left under the edge of the bed in the motel, noticed a few hundred miles away. No way to go back, no thought of writing to them to see if they were found. Much missed ever after.
I always broke toys, lost treasures, ruined clothes. I still have several favorite t-shirts with horrible little bleach spots that mean I don't wear them out. I can't keep a telephone number in my head long enough to call, I have to have it in front of me while I dial. Names regularly leak out of my brain, even people I've known for years, like the spouses of my brothers-in-law. I have no recollection of the full names of almost all of my friends from college or army, although I remember their faces and stories quite clearly. I remember how it felt to carry the cat around on my shoulders with it's front paws on my head, the yellow and brown pattern of the linoleum, from when I was perhaps five years old.
Why do some experiences, some details, stick, and others slide away, evaporate completely? How can I pack a bag with complete precision, but not be able to recall the number on the license plate on the car we've had over three years without checking? I'm sure I could still shelve a truck full of books, correctly, in about an hour, but not how to add a sig file to my email without D prompting me. Again.
Actually, it's less of a mystery than I imply. I remember what I understand, when I really get why
. If there is no why
, as in phone numbers or most people's names, I have no slot in my brain for it. When I do get why
, or at least when the question is pertinent, a puzzle I'm still mulling, I can't seem to forget. Likewise the methods and groupings of tasks that all serve an end, then all the bits are all steps in the proof, and I know why
I do the chores in that order.
Labels: D, dribs, history