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Maybe its meditation maybe I'm Just High?

by Emily Downey 2 months ago in friendship
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subtle forgotten memories

a photo of my mother as a teenager, I loved looking at her albums and creating stories of what was happening in each photograph.

I think collectively we could all recall at least a dozen memories from different points in our life, that’s easy. You think of the nostalgia for a bit and let it wave over you. Remembering playing silly games with neighborhood kids, Saturday morning cartoons, the first day of middle school, your first real crush.

Do you ever think about all the forgotten memories? The memories that while they were happening you said “I’m never going to forget this night” but then you blinked and 20 years had flown by and your making lunches for your first graders & that memory is so embedded down into your brain that it would take hours of meditation to pull it out.

But sometimes we don’t need meditation, sometimes all we need is a smell, a song, even just a moment of thought, something to wake up that small area of our brain where that dusty filing cabinet of distant memories lies.

One time I got really blazed & I started with a memory that I have recalled and retold the story at least half a dozen if not more. The memory was of my brother, myself and our two neighborhood best friends sleeping outside on a summer night in their yard. Except it really wasn’t a yard, it was a driveway and we were way out where no one else was around for miles. We decided we didn’t need a tent, just some blankets, pillows and of course some snacks. While I sat on this memory and recounted details of the night I tried to think back to before we made the decision to sleep outside what were we doing. I remember playing in the chicken coop, mooning the mailman as he drove by, unsuccessfully attempting to make soap from a yucca plant. It as if I was right back there in the tall grass, pretending this fallen over fridge was pride rock. I was 10 again, twenty years reversed. I remembered the toys we would hide in that fridge for safe keeping. This squishy spongebob (that eventually died a tragic death and we later held a funeral for, but thats a different story)

Suddenly as I unlocked that memory door, they came flooding through.

I remembered a dozen more sleepovers with our neighbors from camping in a giant teepee to telling the most horrifying scary stories. I remembered the arguments we would all have of who was gonna walk with who all the back to the house in the dark to go pee. The set up of Meca's bedroom and the utter chaos of it but same time how it was truly the best fuckin bedroom out of all of our friends. How we used to scale up the side of the house from her window to roof. The not so OSHA safe treehouse we attempted to build with broken boards and logs.

Suddenly my childhood was coming back and was so absolutely vivid. The waves of nostalgia were washing over me like I had never experienced. Waves of sadness were coming too, and the realization that those times were so long ago and would never come back. One moment I was little and carefree pretending our bunk bed was the Titanic and the next I’m 30 and trying to squeeze $50 to make the groceries stretch.

I started keeping a journal where I would jot down random memories that would come to me. I got on this kick that I don’t want to forget, forgetting is terrifying. I mean once you’ve forgotten something the years just tack on and then it’s gone for good.

I talk to my parents and ask them about their childhoods and they recall distinct memories and that’s it, nothing more. But every so often they will tangent off a memory as it brings up five more memories and then like a tree they branch out unlocking so much more. A smile draws across their face and you see it right there that nostalgia washing over them.


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Emily Downey

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