This evening I spent about three hours cleaning out boxes of old letters, cards and mementos from the past. I threw out a lot (much of which made no sense to me), but in the process, I uncovered parts of my past that I had completely forgotten. For example, in 1992, I nearly moved in with a girl named Kelly, who I had dated for a while but had parted ways at the time of the proposed cohabitation. She was graduating from North Adams State University and I was about to become homeless, so apparently there were a few months when we intended to move in together on a platonic basis (though from the tone of the letters, the platonic nature of the relationship was questionable at best). Eventually I was accepted to Bridgewater State University (another fact forgotten) and was in the process of registering for classes and being assigned a dorm when life once again interfered, bringing me to Connecticut.
How does one forget something like this?
In fact, the period encompassing fall 1991 through spring 1993 is probably the most well documented portion of my life, since I was living with Mary and Gerry, Jehovah Witnesses who had taken me in when I needed a roof over my head. Because I slept on a cot in a room off the kitchen for almost two years, I had no telephone other than Mary and Gerry’s house phone, and since I was working two fulltime jobs at the time in order to pay for defense attorneys, the only way that my friends could realistically contact me was through letters. I have dozens and dozens of letters from friends and family from that time in my life.
Which leads me to wonder what other nuggets from my past that I may have forgotten.
Fortunately, I have a sister who literally remembers every moment of our childhood (hence our new back-and-forth blog) and a friend named Bengi who has been in my life since I was sixteen years old. Bengi has a steel trap for a memory nearly equal to my sister and actually told stories about me during his wedding toast that even I had forgotten.
If I’m ever to write a memoir, I’m going to need a lot of help from these two.