I just got home from a choir concert. Not my choir. A different choir. The last pops concert of my high school choir director. I got to sing as an alumnus.
I saw a lot of people tonight and had a good 3 hours to reflect on my life. On the dynamics between and not between us and on how I have changed, how I’ve stayed the same. It was not a fun 3 hours but I enjoyed the singing.
I am upset by something that happened. There are large portions of my life for which I have no memory. I remember a snapshot here or there, but the rest is blank. I haven’t had ECT. I just have gaps in memory. So, people were coming up to me tonight that expected me to know them and I hadn’t the foggiest idea who they were. My mom says that’s normal, but it’s not. I played along as best I could. I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t an environment in which I could just say I can’t remember ‘cuz I’m crazy. Or sick. Or whatever. I don’t understand. They were sharing memories about some concerts we did. I remember one song because I did the choreography, but I don’t remember the concert. I remember the music but not the events. I remember that I liked the guy I was talking to in high school and he remembered me, but I couldn’t remember who he is.
I sit in my kitchen and cry. I DON’T WANT THIS! I don’t want to see these people and their lives. It hurts SO much… I don’t want to remember what I could’ve been. Please. Please.
I seem rude for not remembering, as if these people weren’t important to me or special. And I feel scared that they will find out my secret, that I’m not okay and that although I’m becoming more honest I still lie every day. I always wanted to have a people. I’ve always had a book.
I sat next to a group of people I always looked up to but was never friends with. And I watched the choir director, whom I most days can’t tolerate, end her career as a high school teacher. And I was so angry at the kids next to me talking during her solo. I turned around and smacked one of ’em with my music. I’m old enough now to realize the gravity of the moment. And to remember to shut up. ;)
In my day to day life I’m not confronted with opportunities for comparison. I know it’s not good to play the what if card. But tonight… (pause) I want that. I want what they have. I don’t even know what it is. But they have independence and freedom. I have a house of cards held together by a lie. A journal. And a black card at Staples.
Would my life be different if I remembered? I think not remembering protects me. But I don’t remember me. Sometimes I ask people what they remember about me. I can’t remember.
I hear “O Sifuni Mungu” (Swahili) in my head and my whole body tingles. Oh to be 13.
© Michelle Routhieaux 2012
Michelle-you have the gift of such expressive writing. Thank you for sharing.