Total Recall

Recently, I have been rewatching a television series about a mentalist who helps the police solve crimes. As with the first time I watched it, I became intrigued with the idea of building a memory palace to remember details. It`s a technique similar to the mnemonic device with the way that it uses hooks to remind us of what we’re forgetting.

What I like about the memory palace is how each of us can choose our own place, one that we are very familiar with. Imagining its nooks and crannies should be second nature. In my case, the first thing that came to mind is an apartment.

I tried memorizing a short grocery list using the details of the apartment where I first lived alone. It was funny imagining eggs dropping on my face, finding a turkey breast in the closet, smelling bread as its fragrace wafted through the window, hearing the Magnolia ice cream man’s jingle on the street, and seeing a mouse eating cheese strings on the floor. It was amusing and perhaps that’s why it worked.

I realized how easy it was to take this big chunk of skull-protected meat for granted. Our brains are so powerful, it can move our bodies on autopilot. It’s so powerful, yet we never really use it for what is important. It`s so easy to forget.

I keep on wondering how many memories I have suppressed, why certain smells and sights seem so familiar yet hard to associate with anything. Sometimes, I wake up dreaming about scenes I have experienced in the past. As with many of my dreams, I let them affect my waking thoughts knowing full well that I’ll eventually forget them again. Why do our brains push them to our conscious thoughts? Are we bound to remember? Why is it, that despite knowing they’ll be forgotten, we just let them drift away? Again?

I wish I can hold on a bit longer to what matters, even if I don’t know them yet. If I have to build a town or a country in my head, I would. I don’t want to forget again. To be forgotten is one of the worst things that can happen to anything. Or anyone.

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