Forget Me Nots
Contrary to prior belief I do not remember everything. Just more than most people I know. It's my own personal example of being cursed with awesome. Can I recall the details of most conversations? Yes. I've been the deciding factor in many an argument about who said what, why such and such conversation happened, and whether or not someone really did say or do something. "Let's ask Carlos." Has become a phrase I am used to hearing, and with good reason I guess. For instance, I can say with 100% certainty that at least three of my co workers have told me the same story twice already and that I responded exactly the same way both times because it's off putting when you're expecting a certain reaction from someone and they say: "Oh yea, you told me this two Saturdays ago at 10:15"
Admittedly, I'm also guilty of repeating myself. Which is why I'm usually happy to repeat conversations with people, but the point of this isn't to say that my memory is a burden because I have to sit through things people don't remember telling me. Heck, it's not always a burden. I'm one of the privileged few who can actually win an argument with his wife because my memory is that much more vivid than hers. (She's a mathematician, folks. It's no small feat to remember more than she can)
The point of this is to get it out there, that it definitely CAN be a burden. That while it is almost always awesome, it really is a curse from time to time.
I remember the frustration in my kindergarten teacher's voice when I broke down into tears for the third time that week because I felt lonely and ostracized but was too young to articulate it. Being too stupid to be able to explain what I was feeling I would inevitably fall back on "I miss my brothers". This, eventually, was not a good enough reason to cry. The time out she put me on during recess was the longest twenty minutes of my life.
I remember wanting to get even after my older brother changed the channel on the tv before the ending of an episode of power rangers. (The Pink Ranger was fighting on her own, and it wasn't clear if she'd be able to win without the support of her friends). I missed the ending, and he brushed me off by explaining that it was obvious the good guys were going to win. Despite seeing the truth in this, I flipped one of the plastic floor mats we had in the hall way, and told him Mom wanted him for something. I literally pointed and laughed when he impaled his bare foot on the inexplicably sharp spikes. . .and this, among many other reasons, is why I consider myself a semi-douche on most days.
I remember an argument between my parents, the contents of which are a little too delicate to post online. Suffice to say, as a fourth grader, it had me worried. The math test I bombed, wasn't one I should have failed. A week later, when my Mom asked me if the test had been the day after the argument I overheard, I lied, not wanting her to feel responsible for my failure.
I remember 11.07 being my change after I bought a jug of ammonia and a jug of bleach on my way home from school one day. I remember thinking I could buy my little brother a good bye gift with that, but then realized I couldn't get everyone else one so decided against it.
I remember making it through my personal hell, and the one after that, and the one after that too.
I remember trips to the swap meet with the whole family crammed into the back of a cherry red Nissan Pathfinder.
I remember long walks to Head Start, with my sister, always accented with trips to a panaderia for whipped cream topped jello cups.
I remember feeling so damn special in the Power Ranger costume my Mom made me, that I never wanted to take it off, and the utter joy that pounded in my chest when I was told I could wear it as pajamas.
I remember practically tackling my Dad, after having spent a hot summer in Mexico, and the first time I cried tears of joy. His response was perfect: "Por que te vas, pues?"
I remember sitting next to an interesting woman during a boring soccer game, and asking to borrow her phone...
And I think it's kind of strange when I'm told to forget. When people express to me, "Forgetting is the only gift I wish to give you." Because to me, forgetting the bad is the surest way to take the good for granted.