Saturday, July 21, 2012
A Fickle Mistress
I was thinking about memory.
How reliable is it anyway?
I think of members of a family with a different viewpoint on significant events.
"Do you remember?" I say to her, "Do you remember when the baby was put in a drawer out in the back field near the boards that were put out for a dance floor, and someone, I think it was the English uncle, started playing the accordion and then someone joined him on the harmonica, we used to call them mouth organs then. I hated him teaching me to play it because he smoked and there were bits of tobacco stuck in the holes and the smell was awful."
"No, I don't remember that part," you say. "I remember the apples on the trees by the fence and Billy pushed me up a few stones that he put against them and I shook the branch and the apples fell down."
"Right," I say, "Well I don't remember that part, but boy, you got in trouble because you tore your dress and our grandmother got very upset."
"Why?" you say.
"Because she wanted us to look so good for the wedding. Auntie Rita's wedding to Uncle Pete."
"No," you say, "I don't remember a wedding at all. I remember my pale green dress that flounced and the apples. Was that at a wedding then?"
I am getting impatient now. "Why do you think we were all dressed up?"
"So what were you wearing then if you're so smart?"
"I can't remember."