Friday, May 22, 2009

Sane's List of Predicament, Item #1: Forgetful

I guess I was supposed to meet someone for dinner yesterday, but completely flaked out on her. Not a date, per se, just a get together. This happens. I try to warn people I am friends with, those who I date, that I tend to drop the ball on getting together. Like a little kid in a candy store, my eyes are constantly spinning looking at interesting things around me. I get side tracked. Reservations go unfulfilled at the nicest restaurants when the churro-and-elote cart guy rolls past me. I've missed concerts, I've even missed flights entirely.

If I'm seeing someone, I try to let them know: send me a text in the morning so I don't forget. It's not that I don't care, I just don't have the concept of time like most people do. When did we agree to get together? "Two weeks ago." Oh. Has it been that long?

When I was younger, I pretty much only had a phone in my room, so missing out on events was more common. Now that I have twitter, email, text messaging, a cell phone, an answering service and all that, I still tend to get forgetful. I've tried various programs and phone apps to keep my to-do list of stuff I promise to do, but it rarely happens. I forget to actually ENTER the to-do list, and that's that.

Grocery shopping is a nightmare. One time I went to the grocery store 3 times in a week and bought the EXACT SAME ITEMS. Forgot I already bought them. I try to make grocery lists at home, and I only pick up what my two arms can carry (no shopping carts for me). Clothes shopping can also be a nightmare. Yes, I really did need 4 pairs of slacks in the same color. Oops.

There are some things I'm good at remembering to do: laundry, feed the cat, change litter, buy cigarettes. That's because they are things that can be seen (or smelled, meow). The unseen, the future, is a bit topsy turvy. It's a reason I want an assistant, and I need to get back to that work. Again, my brain forgets easily.

I do feel bad when I blow someone off, but in the case of my friend yesterday, I did warn her twice to text me so I'd remember. It's not that I'm playing hard to get, I'm playing "ooh, look at the shiny thing!" At least my brain is.

I can be a terrible boyfriend for this reason. I'll forget birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, favorite foods, etc. I may forget your best friend's name, even after 6 months. A few times, early on, I forgot the girl's name who I was dating. A lot of "hey doll," "honey" and "sweetheart" until I sneaked a peak at her driver's license or credit card. I've never been caught, yet.

The benefit of having horrible short term memory is that my brain can make connections faster than most people who are not oblivious to reality. This makes me a great listener, and I can also motivate people to work sad feelings or angry desires. It makes me better in bed since I am focused on the now rather than where my body wants to be. It makes me a good beer pal because I don't worry about responsibility 2 hours from now, but for having fun NOW.

For most of my friends and family, they feel sad that I am so forgetful. I'm not. I rarely get hurt feelings, I never remember the bad stuff, and the good stuff gets put on this site or on my private blog. Reviewing things brings back a flood of memories (taste, feel, smell, sounds) and I'm really happy for it. Who needs the clutter of drama and baggage in their mind when the world is so large and there are so many things to do?

And that's just it: I love doing things. I love meeting people. I love eating and drinking, smoking and dancing, kissing and fucking, loving and laughing, driving and arriving. It's exciting. For all my upcoming items from my list of predicaments, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Excitement is the taste of life. Are you missing out on excitement?


In my world I ROCK said...

I feel your pain- I am very forgetful as well but you beat me. My blackberry is my best friend. TMI: I even note down when I get my period on this thing so when the doctor ask I say "one moment ::pull out the blackberry::"

Amy said...

I like the sound of all the benefits ;)

I wish I could be more in the here and now. I think I'd have much more fun. But I freak out and keep thinking about consequences and the future. Sigh.

ChicagoSane said...

HAH! If I bled monthly, I would constantly freak myself out. "Now why is that happening?"

My closest friends and my serious girlfriends all found ways to deal with it. My customers and employees also know how to deal with it. It's just hyper-kinetic energy, but it pushes the concept of time straight out the window.

Lately, though, I try to be more obvious of the time when I'm with someone, otherwise we may end up spending 8 hours together instead of 1 over lunch.

ChicagoSane said...

Amy, I do think of consequences of ALL my actions, but I don't think about the odd rare possibilities.

Living in the hear and now does help, but I do have long term goals, too. They're just not on any timetable.

Tessa said...

Is it only transient details that you lose? The intangible? How does that translate to people, not their details, but the person themselves, personality traits and the like? Does that apply to yourself?

You've said you've written fiction - how does that affect longer works? Do you have to go back and read all that has been written before when picking up again?

(Feel free to ignore my snooping. Memory is a chewy subject.)

ChicagoSane said...

Tessa, sorry for the delayed response.

My memory pretty much shuts out everything for a short period of time. If I don't write it down in a day or two, it's gone either forever, or for a long, long time. Months, years.

When I write things in my active voice, I can recall them immediately. Writing, to me, is about forcing myself into a place I was in. Once I am there, tastes, sounds, smells, feelings all come back fully. I can remember details when my brain is giving the forceful push to that point in my life.

When I write long stories, which I have done twice (novel length), I have an editor and an assistant that help me revisit plot lines or characters. THEY force me into that recollection of where I am going. I rarely write a synopsis before I write a full length. I become each character individually, and trace their paths individually.

When I write, I never edit myself. Even spelling errors stay put as they are.

Tessa said...

Interesting that it's specifically active voice, not passive or past tense. The difference between re-experiencing an event and remembering, I suppose.

Thank you for indulging my curiosity. : )