Memories

Memories. Where the hell did they all go? Most people remember the momentous events of their life, but mine are gone. I was talking to my friend Julie earlier. She was my girlfriend back in the ‘80s. We were even engaged for a little while. I was telling her that I can’t remember proposing to her, and that I can’t remember how or why we broke up. She remembers. She even apologized to me for being a bitch. I’m glad I don’t remember then I guess.

I don’t remember my wedding to Michelle. I don’t remember the weddings of my children. I don’t remember their births. What the fuck do I remember? I do just fine at trivia night. I can remember facts. I just can’t remember the events of my own life. I do remember the day Michelle died. That one’s seared in there pretty good. But I don’t remember Dad’s death. I remember the date because it was Valentine’s Day. I know I was in the hospital room when he died, but I don’t remember what hospital it was. I don’t remember who else was in the room. I don’t remember the moment he stopped breathing. 

I’ve got temporal lobe epilepsy. I’ve had it since January 2016 when I had my first grand mal seizure, which I also do not remember. I suppose that’s the reason that so many of the events of my life are inaccessible. I wonder if they are still there in my brain somewhere like a file on a hard drive where the catalog entry has been removed but the data itself hasn’t been overwritten. 

I smoked a lot of pot over the last few years. I know it affects short-term memory even though it’s also supposed to help epileptics. So, I decided to give up pot for good a few months ago in the vain hope that my brain would start working better. My life has started working better, and I’m saving a lot of money, but the brain… still borked. 

I took a lot of really cool vacations with Tracy when we were together. We went to some great concerts. I know this because I’ve got tons of pictures in Google Photos as proof. For awhile, I told myself that I’d gotten to see U2 in Dallas, but it turns out that I had stayed at the hotel while Tracy and Eliza went to the show because we only had the two tickets. I was just along for the ride. I found that out by reading an old journal entry. 

We went to Costa Rica one spring, Riviera Maya near Cancun in Mexico another spring, Orlando in yet another spring. I don’t remember a thing about any of these vacations. 

I do remember standing out in the front yard at the old house and staring at the constellation Orion in the winter. I remember taking our old English Setter Ollie out for walks in the woods. But I don’t remember taking him to the vet to be put down when he got old. 

I’ve got posters on my office wall for Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, and It’s a Beautiful Life, because they used to be my favorite movies of all time, but I don’t remember the plots much. I finally just remembered George Bailey’s name moments ago after trying to recall it last night as the poster caught my eye. 

Am I even the same Trent Douthat that I used to be if I don’t remember my own life? Who am I now? Same body, same name. Just minus the memories. Without the memories, am I even still friends with half of the people I know on Facebook? I don’t remember most of the times that we spent together. Am I still allowed to call them my friends if I can barely remember them?

I want my god-damned memories back. Fuck you, epilepsy! What did I do to deserve this?