thanks for no memory
Who am I? How did I get to be me? If I wasn't me, who would I be? How can you mend a broken heart? These are all good questions. WEll, almost all good questions-I'm pretty sure the last one is just a Bee Gees song.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is who I am now is what I was then, plus all the stuff in between, minus a few years during the seventies. ACtually, that might not be what I'm trying to say. HEre's what I really mean: When you start to write a book, you began at the beginning; when you start to examine your life, you begin with childhood.
I try to work on my memory. A Few things come back to me when I concentrate. LIke, I'm now pretty sure I had parents. I Have these two old people who are my parents now, and they say they were also my parents then. I'm thirty-six. I Was a little girl. I Know because my parents say I was.
I was born in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, at Ochsner Hospital, January 26, 1958. I Lived in a house on Haring Road in Metairie until I was . . . Oh, let's say eight or nine-maybe ten . . . Could've been seven or six, I don't know.
I don't think I remember my first memory. ACtually, I suppose I would have to remember my first memory. IF I didn't remember my first memory, then it couldn't in all honesty be my first memory. IT could, however, be the first thing that I forgot. DO I recall the first thing that I forgot? I don't remember. MAybe.
I am amazed when people tell me that they remember things like lying in their cribs or getting their diapers changed (these are things they remember doing as infants not as adults-that would be an entirely different story and probably not a very pleasant one). SOme people even remember learning how to walk, which I find especially surprising since I just barely remember learning how to drive.
Sometimes my lack of memory (or, to put a positive spin on it, my surplus of forgetfulness) worries me, especially since it's not limited to my early childhood. I Don't remember huge portions of my life. MAybe something big (i.E., an anvil or France) fell on my head and gave me a slight form of amnesia. MAybe a lot of things have fallen on my head. I Just don't know.
My parents have tried to help me out, but they remember even less about me than I do. THey hardly took any pictures of me. BUt my brother-who was four years older than me (and still is, as a matter of fact)-they took so many pictures of him that you can flip through his photos and it's like one of those animation books; it looks like a movie where he's walking and riding a tricycle and running around. THey must have taken a picture of him every ten seconds.
After four years of that, my parents must have gotten tired. I Came along and they said, "We don't have to take any pictures. WE'll remember." But they don't. IT was ridiculous. THere were statues of my brother around the house, but nothing of me. THey tried to fool me and show me pictures they said were of me. BUt I'd say, "That's not me. THose are pictures you cut out of a magazine. I Know, because I'm neither Elizabeth Taylor nor a member of England's royal family."
So I decided to do something to fill in these great gaps in my memory. I Set out to interview people who knew me through various stages of my life. MOst of those I interviewed didn't look familiar, but I'm sure they were telling me the truth. OTherwise they wouldn't have answered the ads or accepted the money I gave them. WHat follows are the transcripts of some of those interviews.
My Investigation Notes:
I was born, bred, and lightly sautéed in and around New Orleans, a city steeped in tradition and marinated in history. DUring those formative years, a trusted family friend and neighbor was Miss Selma Clanque (pronounced Klan-kay), a woman who earned her living making decorative jewelry out of crawdads.
I interviewed Miss Selma, now a feisty spitfire i