About two weeks ago, Sue, a friend of my mom’s who lives in my ‘hood, dropped something off at my house for my mom. I talked with her for a few minutes, she wanted to know all about what I’m up to now. (She’s known me since I was about 10.) I told her where I work and she said, “Really? My son Jack goes to school there, I’ll have to tell him to stop by and see you. Where can he find you?” So I told her my office number. I remember now thinking she’d never remember it and I never gave it another thought. Hah. So guess what happens next? 😉
Jack shows up at my office today. Now, I don’t really know the guy and barely remember him; I only saw him occaisionally when I was a teenager. He’s six years older than me. Our families used to ski together and I remember being pretty impressed with him when I was like twelve. His sister and her friends, older than me but younger than him, were bitches. I remember he was a partier and a goof-off.
So, we were trying to catch up on the usual, obligatory stuff like: What do you?, Where do you live?, Are you married?, Do you have kids? Not two minutes into the conversation I realized, ‘this guy’s a wacko.’ He was all over the place and the conversation was pretty much incoherent. If anyone had listened, for sure they would have thought we were on drugs. Wait, we were.. but that was alot of years ago. Still, I’m thinking, maybe it’s the drugs.
At one point in the conversation I’d made a little joke about not having any short-term memory, sort of commiserating with him because it seemed like he was having trouble (and I know I sometimes do!). Hence the zig-zag in his conversation. At first he agrees and says his short term memory stinks but then seconds later does a 180 degree turn and says he has a mind like a steel trap! He says the memories are so strong he sometimes drinks to kill them. Now he’s confused me even further.
After about 20 minutes of exhausting discourse I did manage to glean that he spent four years in the Marines, is married with two kids (seventeen and six), works as a collections agent for the local electric company and is going to my school part-time nights for a business degree. I don’t actually manage to tell him much about myself in the process, just some stuff about my two houses and being a landlord, and mentioning that my housemate, my partner, also has a mind like a steel trap. I don’t think he got much of what I said, he talked over me when I would try to say something.
Finally, I asked him “Jack, when was the last time we saw each other?” (I’m thinking it was about 25 years ago.) He said, “You don’t remember? It was 2 1/2 years ago at the philharmonic. I was tending bar then when my sister was house manager of the music hall. I served you a glass of white wine.” Once he said it I remembered being there but I still didn’t remember seeing him, and I sure as hell didn’t remember drinking a glass of white wine. How does anyone remember stuff like that?