Image by Micheal D. Endens
I do not know how many gigabytes this sticky dough I’m walking under the sailor's hat (it's cold, very cold) may have, but it’s unbelievable how many memories it can store. And how much junk, too. Cerebral gyrus: that’s the way they call it. But some nights I think of it as a tiny and gray intestine. Tonight it’s one of those. I’d like you to see it, too. Not the brain, of course, but what's inside. I mean, the memories. And the junk, too.
Somehow, one always remembers pictures, snapshots. Like these ones I'm watching now. I already know all of them. I’d say, if you allow the obviousness, that I know them by heart. But there are details, niceties I had completely forgotten. You know, they say that memory is selective, fatally selective: it cuts moments out, editing and mounting them so neatly that the result is like a predictable purr, a nearly continuous narration of remembrances, sweet or bitter, according to the situation. That's why we become so boring telling our life: we always tell the same. Other times it abominably skips portions of life and situations that we'd like to live again, somehow. And in these cases it doesn’t matter how hard you try: the story just doesn’t show up. The little, gray intestine has decided to stop telling you your own stories.
…like many other things that time goes on adding and the memory fatally selecting, in some way sending them to the recycle bin of this flabby and sticky hard disk, this dusty and gray, tiny intestine I’m walking under the sailor's hat, (it's cold, very cold). You know, memory is a peculiar processor: it doesn’t sort things out: it disarranges them. And sometimes it makes stories up. Especially in dreams: stories based on trivial memories, on forgotten moments that the dream itself recovers from the recycle bin and mixes and weaves; minimum lies that, when we wake up, are (almost) always filed again in the folder where the forgotten pics are stored, where we hide all the films already shoot but never released.
But tonight I’m opening all the bins. And the jewels coffers, too. ‘Cause even the jewelry, the beautiful memories are sometimes forgotten, and sent to the garbage bin.
Well, I'm 40 now. And what can I say? I'd have liked to feel wiser, having here my woman and perhaps a child, and thinking on paying a house and on my next holidays and struggling to find the time to write the best novel of this new century. But nothing of this happened. I find myself in a complete different situation, and trying to accept that I'm just a man like many others, of of those billions who live their life in this world which seems to be fed up with the humankind. It's not easy. You know? one... well, at least myself... always thinks to be born to achieve something special. And I'm starting thinking that that special thing is exactly this: to accept oneself as just being one among the others. This is not a philosophic thought of a recently 40 years old guy :-), It's just something I'm thinking lately. I am -if I'm lucky- in the middle of my life, like Dante when he went to the Hell and, being back, he wrote the Divine Comedy. I've been in my very personal Hell, also, and I'm still walking up, going uphill, climbing the mountain. And I don't know what I'm going to find up there.
And lots of times I miss my friends. Life is nothing without friends. Yeah, I could meet a girl (and I'd love to, because I've always felt the need of sharing space and feelings and experiences... what is life without sharing it?) but friends are something different. It's a different love one feels for them. Perhaps less intense, but very deep and calm, like the deepness of the Ocean.
I'm alone here at home tonight, and it's my birthday. But it's OK: ant the end of the day this has been just another day. It's just that this very same day, 40 years ago, I was born. Nothing more. We are billions of us and this happens everyday. Time flies away (or it just seems to fly away... and perhaps this happens when one becomes aware that lots of time he has been "lived" by the life, without making the most of it at every moment and living the holy life...
What can I say? I should have learned this before. But as for many many things in my life, I've been late, or, at least, later than others. I've been late all my life: the first time I had sex was when I was 19. The first time I used a PC was when I was 23 (my friends were using it since they were 15), the first time I wrote a short story I was 23, too. The first time I crossed the Ocean I was 37. The first time I read Chomsky I was 29 or 30. The first time I read SIddharta I was 38. And I've never read "The little Prince". I've never learned how to love properly, if there's a proper way to love someone.I just know that my way didn't give a good result (first: I suffered a lot and make other people suffer; 2nd: I'm still single). The first time I've watched a series was just two years ago. I've never been in the US, I never went to New Zealand, nor to Syria, nor to South Corea or Vietnam.
Yeah, I've been late. Someone would say that this makes no sense: things come when they "have to" come. I don't know. I haven't read the book where this is written. At least till now. But I'm starting to believe on it. After all, what could I do? In some way I'm writing that book. But I've forgotten lots of things I wrote before. The scenes I've shot.
I can see just some shots, frozen moments of this inconcluded video clip, like that dark night in Stromboli Island, with Antonio, watching the darkness and knowing that it was the sea; or this other one: me and my cousins on a rock, again, watching the sea. I was 12, and it was winter, and cold, and the sea was showing her (yes the sea is a She) rage and I was feeling like a Pirate on the top of that rock. The rock is still there and now I realize how dangerous it was being there with the sea being like that. I can see Gabriella entering the door of the little tower where we lived two years, in that small village of just hundred people, while I was charging the stove with the wood I had previously cutted. And I cannot go back too much: I don't remember anything about my childhood: just one shot: me lying down on the land in front of my grandma's house and watching the sky, trying to reach some point in the sky, concentrating and trying to go further and loosing the pint, and feeling the impotence for not being able to go further. I see now Max writing a poem in my diary, and we were 15. It was a dark poem, obscure, in English. We had smoked and were listening Pink Floyd.
Frozen moments, like that one, lost in the mountains of Guadalajara, Silvia sitting in the middle of the wood and drowing something that had to be a little river with plants and trees: we had been wandering on that wood three days before finding again a street where we could hitchike again, run out of food and drinking water from the river. Or this other one: having a walk with Antonio in the campus, and reading to him what I wrote after Marta decided to stop our relationship, crying and laughing at the same time. And me telling to Anouk "I don't love you" while I was loving her so deeply and at the same time so being scared of it. It still hurts. So many things are hurting, tonight. All the pics of Playa de los Muertos are hurting, Patri. They hit my mind like a lightning, like a shot of crack, but without the pleasure of it.
Memory: the place where something happens a second time.
And, some time, the place where things are just made up: memories of something I've never seen, like you never reading the tale I wrote for you, Jo. Yes, it was for you, and I'm so pissed off for this that possibly never happened: perhaps you just didn't like it, but in some way I'm sure you've never read it.
It's late now, I should be sleeping, but it's my 40th birthday, and in some way I cannot help writing this, and at the same time thinking that this has so little relevance, that this is so small, so insignificant, so meaningless when thousand of people have died, their birthdays swept by the big wave, there in Japan; while thousand of people will never have again a birthday because a bullets took their lives off in Lybia, Somalia, Darfour... or because they just couldn't afford to live their lives while I'm here, with a house, the freezer full of food and me writing this stupid thoughts, because the gray intestine has decided I had to shit them away.
I won't write anymore.
Just want to dedicate all these years I'm carrying on my shoulders to all of them. And to my friends. And to my family.