Monday, July 21, 2014

On Memories

As we were hanging out today talking, post-drywall removal, I brought up (via some tangential train of thought) Charlie maybe trying his hand at some painting. I brought this idea up in the past, and it was met with a lack of enthusiasm on his part, mainly because of the left-handed aspect. Today, he was all about it. This is something I'm glad to see, because he's always had a creative side, but hasn't always taken the time to explore it (outside of crazy costumes and theater and music and stained glass and.... okay, so maybe he's explored it). This is all well and good (and encouraging) while we're house-sitting, but when it's time to be back in our own -now quite limited- space, I'm going to have to figure out a scenario where he can work at. Good gods, will I have to share my studio table??? (NO. That will not happen. Allow me my selfish side.... but I'll figure out something)

On the flip side of things, I discovered something today that I didn't know previously. That I doubt anyone else knew either.That the stroke removed some of his memories. We were talking about someone we knew (a co-worker) down in Miami, and he kept saying/indicating he didn't know who they were. While this wasn't someone we were exceptionally close to, it also definitely wasn't someone that he would just forget. We worked together for a few months, he came to our house to work from daily, we went out to dinner a few times, etc. Somewhat jokingly, I said "oh, did the stroke make your memory so bad you can't remember him?" (because, honestly, we meet a lot of people via our community, and we're both horrible with names, which we both admit and acknowledge)... and his reply was a completely serious "yes." Talking with him further later indeed revealed that he doesn't recall Sam at all. Somewhat frightening, in many ways... and it also gets me curious. Given what I've learned about the brain over this last year, I know how specific (and weird) it can be, so I find myself wondering if it's some of that time period that's missing (if so, how much? Is sticking out hurricane Katrina still there? Meeting Dlish for the first time? Walking the back alley to the bodega on the corner? Watching MirrorMask?) Or... is the part of the brain that is having "issues" related to specific personalities? Facial memories, human interactions, that kind of thing. Like, he can remember what we did in Miami during our almost 2 years there, but the people we knew there are erased? Or maybe the "spot" in his brain that got kerwonkety is Sam Specific? Maybe Sam is the only missing element from that time period.

In some ways, I'm leery of asking more. I'm not sure I want to know if that time period is gone for him, or mostly gone, or partially gone.... because it was a special point in our lives together. Actually, that's completely untrue. The only reason I now regard it as "special" is because I worry about it being "gone" for him. In truth, it was a rather mundane point in time for us... living in the city-within a-city of Miami Lakes, enjoying all the multicultural aspects of that particular area... but nothing of note.

But now, because of all this, it *does* become special, something of note. However mundane and banal that time was in many regards... now it's somehow more important.

A reminder, I think, to never take those day-to-day moments for granted. When you're "just" sitting around, doing nothing. Some day, those "doing nothing" days, those moments of *life* may become very special to you. And sometimes those can be taken away from you.... so appreciate them while you're *in* them.

(Charlie in front of the giant tree that Katrina toppled, 2005)