I was talking to Simon about finishing and he said his favourite stories of mine are the object stories. So I am bringing them back. This one is written on a bar of soap.
I’ve been listening to radiolab (listen here) and they were talking about memory and how scientists have determined that the more you recall a memory the further the memory gets from what actually happened (because each time you remember something you change it a bit).
I thought about him everyday. He left when I was 7. I remembered everything, him pushing me on the swings, buying me ice cream, taking me to the movies. It hurt to remember but I couldn’t stop. He’d been so good to me. I was constantly wondering why he left and trying to track him down. I could only assume I’d done something wrong, been a bad child. Why else would he leave?
After years of searching for him, I heard that the more you remembered something the less true that memory was. I felt cheated, I must have thought of those memories millions of times. I didn’t want to lose what little I had of him.
I wanted to press reset on my memories, so I decided that I would reconstruct them while I waited to find him. I tracked down all the people that I remembered were there, at the swing, the ice cream shop, the movies. Their memories would be clearer. I was going to press reset.
But when I found them, it wasn’t what I was expecting. My childhood friend from the park told me he only remembered me falling off the swing and my dad telling me to get back on despite my tears. The corner shop owner told me she gave us the ice creams for free because he’d spend our money on cigarettes, and the ticket checker said she only remembered us because he left me alone in the cinema to go the pub.
I stopped looking for him after that.
It’s the first day of mentor march! (I think I’ll need it given yesterday’s post)
I really want you guys to teach me some lessons- is there something you know well that you can pass on to me? For now though I’ll just write about a teacher.
There were rumours he was the best teacher in the city. He was patient, had a wicked sense of humour and his students never forgot what they learnt. But he only taught a select few and was incredibly elusive.
After months of letter writing and missed calls, I finally tracked him down and convinced him to give me 10 minutes of his time. His office was papered with long letters from students explaining complicated concepts in depth. Each letter seemed to be under a different heading. I asked him what they were but he was silent. He lead me to one of the notes on his wall, under the heading ‘You’.
I have a rare condition which means once I explain something, I forget it myself. These walls are my memories. I have a few things left to teach, but you must listen carefully as I will need you to explain it back to me as soon as I tell it to you, or the information will be lost forever.