Thursday, January 20, 2011

What was I saying?

One of the worst things about having a failing short-term memory is that I struggle to remember my dreams. Short-term memory is a bitch like that, you wake up and you have a presumably slightly longer-term memory that you have something in your short-term memory to look up, but you go there and the pail is completely empty, and no amount of scouring the factory floor will turn up its lost contents. It's not that I don't have dreams, because I remember that I had them, but the contents of them has evaporated which it never used to and often does now.

The analogy I've got today is of a bucket on a hinge which fills with memory slop on a regular basis, and then tips over and empties onto one of several memory conveyor belts: either to long-term memory, or to consciousness, or just in the trash. Even in the trash, though, it is still findable, just that you might have to get your hands dirty with a lot of rubbish that you never thought you'd have to remember. But my bucket is obviously on the piss somewhat and just tips out at odd times, before it's full, and not onto one of the conveyor belts but just onto the floor, where the contents mingles with the spit and sawdust and gets swept up whenever my brain does housekeeping.

It is common to blame short-term memory loss on smoking weed, but although being stoned could make you forgetful, I never found it damaged my ability when I wasn't stoned, and my memory was fine long after I'd given up smoking weed regularly. I blame MDMA, with whom I had a passionate, short and ultimately doomed love affair when I was, to be honest, old enough to know better. Maybe it's deeply narcissistic to compare a love affair to taking drugs (and not particularly original), but if you consider that one of the effects of being in love is how the other person makes you feel, maybe you can see the join. We started going out, every now and then at first, and I thought 'you know what, I really like this' and we saw more of each other, but the relationship didn't live up to its early promise, and we got into some destructive patterns: seeing each other too much and then falling out, before making up passionately. There were some horrible arguments in the mornings. I started cheating on her with other drugs, we tried out threesomes to bring back the pep but it was over and now we hardly ever even see each other, and when we do, well occasionally it's nice but mostly I think: thank god we're finished. Not that I don't remember what I saw in her, but yeeeeugsshh. She's happy now anyway, as she should be after the court awarded her half the brain cells.