How far reaching is your memory? Do you remember the womb and the comfortable, claustrophobic cocoon that would slowly tilt and sway, vibrate and sing you to sleep? I mean, discount all the blood and spongy tissue, weird veiny things and complete darkness, and it sounds like a place I would try to return to.* Luckily, I don’t remember that place and you probably don’t either.
I find my memory to be a cautious place, housing millions, each one delicately crafted; never changing, always remembering the rhythm, the time and step to complete each vignette. Yes, sometimes there is singing. (but never really Fosse) In new situations, I remain quiet and instead have to observe everything around me. It’s a matter of comfort over scrutiny. I think it’s necessary to have a solid recollection of past events. What happens to you in life shapes you into the person you are today.
Now, I take into account that certain memories — negative, frightening or uncomfortable ones — will forever be coloured by my perception of them at the time. But luckily, I find hindsight to be more than just 20/20. Adding sporadic meditation to observation has made me feel pretty humble lately. If anyone were to ask for an apology for anything; spilled milk, broken heart, standing on the wrong side of me — well, I’d give it to them.
Anyway, there is no mist in my memory for now. The whole point to this prattle is that I had anchovies yesterday, for which I traveled to the Far East of the city to purchase. I wanted a fish I could consume on a twice a week basis that wasn’t laden with mercury or some other nasty, human thing.
I chose the anchovy because I remembered eating them on toast at a brunch at Sutton Place somewhere around the nine year old parasite mark. They were salty and spikey, smooth and almost creamy (but not in a mousse way, bleh) and I ate five of them before someone told me what they were; at which point, the memory fades away. It seems to me I enjoyed them, though, ‘cos I ate mussels.
I’ve got my own parasite in mid development, actually, it seems like everyone does. Nothing to do during the recession but make babies? Apparently she can taste things, so-says-science. So I’m eating all sorts of nonsense: anchovies, mangoes, wheatgrass shots, macaroni and cheese, IHOP pancakes, rice milk smoothies, kale and apple and ginger juice, burgers, olives. Nevermind that everything makes me gag immediately — I get around it eventually.
I’m loathe to say it’s an experiment, but it probably is. That’s how I approach ideas — forever wishing I had a lab coat (which I do not). Since I’m keeping a journal about the pregnancy for her, I imagine that will stretch into years of journal keeping. I worry that when I want to give them to her, she will look at them and say, ‘Sooo, what? I’m like your gorilla and you’re Dian Fossey?’ Or maybe she will get my intent: to show her how vulnerable her parents were, once, before they had to figure out how to keep her safe and fed and educated and happy and fulfilled and challenged ALL THE TIME for the rest of their lives. A sacrifice I seemed to have no trouble making; an unknown I find I’m willingly being pulled toward.
Life is meant to be a series of challenges faced and conquered or bested by, rather than an efficient stream of distractions. I mean, I’ve finally reached the age where I can admit I like anchovies.
*Why do they show the womb environment as a peachy globe all mapped out in veiny-ness? As if they’ve shoved little lighting guys in there..?