I wrote about memory failure and forgot the best example

Earlier I wrote about the so called Tekko Taks Memory. I gave a couple of examples and thought I'd done a pretty good job. Until half an hour ago, when I realised, to my absolute horror, I had forgotten to mention my very own worst memory mixup. Or mix-up? Mix up? Never could remember whether that's hyphenated or not and if so how. What made this even more terrifying, is that it had to do with the same time period the discussion with my friend had been about.

The memory is to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall. In my mind I can still see myself sitting in an almost empty room, with only a large black-and-white TV and a chair, watching the first East-Berliners walk through and regretting the decision a girl I had met in East Berlin the year before and I had made: not to exchange addresses, because nothing ever could or would come of that, if that's the expression. The room I see myself sitting in, is nearly empty, because I'm moving house and most of my stuff is gone already.

So far, so good. And so totally wrong: the part about the regret is the only thing that is correct. The room is the wrong room. It's the room I was leaving a little more than four years earlier, in September 1985. That's why it was so empty. I was going to sleep on the floor the last night I was there, go away the next morning and let somebody else have the TV and the chair, if they wanted it. Or maybe I wasn't, but that's how I remember it. I'm getting ever more carefull. I bloody have to.

In November 1985 I had some very emotional experiences and I think that might be why my mind decided to lump the two Novembers together. I know I kept a journal in 1985 and maybe in 1989 as well. I was planning on reading the 85 one already and now I want to get to the bottom of this, so I'll have to find the 89 one. If it exists.

It's a good thing I've been interested in memory and the tricks it plays for years (even before I saw Vertrouwd en o zo vreemd (I was going to link to the IMDB here, but it doesn't seem to have an entry, so I linked to the book instead)) and I am very grateful to meneer De Bie (I once met him, so I'm allowed to call him meneer) for writing about his childhood memory. If I hadn't known about that I probably would be completely freaking out by now.

"Het is bijna een wonder dat we ons ook maar iets kunnen herinneren zoals het werkelijk gebeurde. Onze herinneringen worden voortdurend veranderd; ze verouderen of ze worden eenvoudigweg vernietigd."
27-6-2017 10.25 | Door: Arnold Kuijk | Rubriek(en): Memory

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