On Memory

by dbdevilliers

Occurred to me the day before yesterday
all the clever things I’ve ever said
all the things I’ve said that made me feel clever
made me feel smart, made me feel good
made me feel a little happy or a little satisfied for
a little while at least
I can’t remember
not one of them
but every single stupid remark I’ve ever made
that made me wish almost even before I’d said anything that
I could just right then sink into the soil and cease to exist
those things
episodic
perfect fucking recall
and not just that
I don’t even have to recall them at all
they come back to me with great frequency all on their own
and this is pretty banal as far as revelations go
probably everyone has the same problem
but since I’ve only ever been but one person
I don’t know what other people feel
but for me I have to think this speaks to
the way my brain must prioritize
making me feel like shit over not making me feel like shit
after all, if memorability is a measure of emotional power
which I figure it must be one, if not the best one, if not the only one
then seems like shame and regret rate a good bit higher
on my recollective register
than just about anything good
which sounds about right

this realization in that moment made me feel pretty smart
pretty good about myself
pretty clever
so I figured I’d better write it down or surely
I’d forget it entirely.