Monday, November 28, 2005

I've got a horrible memory. I frequently miss appointments, not because I arrive late but because I just plumb forget. Kerrie once asked me to reschedule a haircut for her as I was on my way to see her stylist for my own appointment; and I swear, I sat through the entire haircut and actually talked about Kerrie's appointment, but it wasn't until after I'd left that I remembered she had asked me to change it. It's not just short-term memory, either; I remember visual scenes and details about things that occurred during my youth, but I can't place them in time, order, or location. I can't seem to hold onto anything but the broad strokes.

So I'm sitting at home yesterday, watching the New York Giants play in Seattle, and the announcer mentions that the Seattle quarterback's name is Matt Hasselbeck. The name rings a bell, so I hit Google and it turns out that he was born in Westwood, Massachusetts. As I'm scratching my head over that coincidence, the announcer continues that Matt's younger brother Tim is a backup quarterback for New York -- and that name rings a louder bell, so I return to Google and learn that Tim Hasselbeck was born in 1978 and grew up in Norfolk. So that's how I knew the name: I went to school with him, and we played soccer together.

I don't remember the kid. I remember playing on the fields around that school; I remember the commuter trains rumbling past during practice, and I remember chewing orange slices during halftime. But I'll be damned if I can remember the name or the face of a single kid from that school, including why the hell did his name ring a bell?

It's times like this, I think about humans using only six percent of our brains. This memory is a piece of knowledge that, for all practical purposes, I don't have; yet it's apparently stored somewhere. That remaining ninety-four percent clearly isn't just idling. There's got to be a way to coax it into active duty.


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