I found some lost memories the other day. Cards and letters, stuff left over from flowers and balloons. Remember answering machines? When I got a particularly good message from a girl friend I tossed the tape in my drawer. One of those old tapes actually worked, a birthday message from a woman I dated named Brenda.
Other stuff I don't even remember what the woman looked like, what her last name was, anything. Some stuff I have vague disjointed memories about.
What amazed me was the flood of “sensory” memories that hit me as I read through things. Smell memories, taste memories, touch memories. Somethings I remember like yesterday. Other things I don't remember at all, not in the slightest.
The ones I do remember, four including my current wife (but not my ex :-), the memories are so real. If I close my eyes I can taste a particular kiss, I can feel my feet caressing an old girlfriends feet as we lay in bed, I can smell the perfume, the scents.
I compare those to the memories I have of my ex-wife. I pitched everything she ever gave me. Even memories of times that should have been good are painful.
It isn't like my ex is the only woman I ever argued with, had a tumultuous relationship with, have painful memories about. She and my father are the only people I just don't want to remember.
Take Brenda, we dated a short time while I was going through a very stressful and difficult time in my life. She dumped me. Good decision under the circumstances, looking back. At the time my life (everything but my career) was coming apart. My career was taking off. Still, even with my career taking off if she had asked me I would have dropped everything to be with her. Very painful memories. Important to me, probably nothing much to her. I can still remember the very last moment I saw her, looking forward to seeing her again and having this horrible, sinking feeling I never would. I remember yelling at her and hanging up on her after she stood me up to dump me.
In that same time period ('94) an old girl friend, Kathie, who used to come around a lot got angry with me and “dumped” me. She really just quit coming around to have sex. We had gotten into a kind of random sex relationship that wasn't very healthy anyway, but, because of the time frame it hurt a lot. She was either married to someone else, dating someone else, who knows. I couldn't keep track. I have great memories of her, and no they are not all sex. She was a great person in a lot of ways.
There was Patty, who I only dated a short time and who I remember so much about. She dumped me too.
These women I remember so much about and even the worst memories with them mean something important to me. Yet, I really don't even want to think about my ex.
Sure, I blame my ex for the death of my oldest. She wanted what she thought of as a “biker” life style and her life turned out like so many women into that kind of idea. She looks like a truck ran over her and dragged her through the woods. Her life is a constant mess of scamming and rip offs.
Patty and I talk and exchange e-mails occasionally. Knowing she is doing well makes me happy. I did an Internet search for Brenda and she looks happy. I didn't bother e-mailing her or trying to get in touch, it is just good to know she is happy. I couldn't track down Kathie (no last name :-), but, I think I found one of her sons on Facebook. He did not turn out any where near the way I thought he would! I hope she is doing well.
Life goes so quickly and I just can't believe how much time has passed. The memories we have of the past, the good things we romanticize and the bad things that cause us pain. It is funny how sometimes we can cherish even painful memories. I remember Patty calling to tell me she didn't want to see me any more, weird, painful. Something I don't want to forget because it has to do with her. I remember the last time I saw Kathie at a theater and how she shot me one of those “if looks could kill” looks that tells you not to walk up and say hi. I wouldn't want to forget even that.
Sure, I know they all don't feel the same way and that's okay. It isn't their lives or memories that I cherish it is my own. The good memories and the bad memories.
I met my wife in '97 and we have been together ever since. Nothing is perfect and I almost left her a couple of times. She has probably considered leaving me. These days that is just the way of things. I hope my wife and I are together for another 13 years. If we break up maybe I will be lucky enough to end up with someone as wonderful as Patty. Maybe I will find someone else to have important memories about.
In the mean time, life goes so fast that by the next time I take a trip down memory road another 16 years will have passed and I will be wondering where that time went.
In the world, not of the world. The world turns and good memories are but a moment away.