As soon as I thought I could I tested myself. Where were the limits of my memory? We lived at that time in one of those Central California suburbs where all you have is a lot of space and a lot of sunshine. My bedroom as a child was apparently endless. There was a giant desk, a closet full of room, and a sprawling table. I had a queen size waterbed against the wall. And there was a chest of drawers. Probably too much space, and I never could use all of it. If there were six drawers, I may have used four with any regularity. I proposed an experiment: removing 4 pairs of white tube socks from their normal resting place in a top drawer, I put them down below, in a drawer that I never used (who likes to reach down for a bottom drawer, anyway?). How long would it take me to forget that they were there?
A day passed and I remembered about those socks. I even peaked in on them, to show myself. They were there. Two, three days and I still remembered. Four days and I could have pulled them out again. It was probably five or six days - it is hard to know, exactly - before they slipped out of my mind, even though nothing about them had changed. That's funny, the way it is with memory: nothing changes about the object whatsoever, but the recognition of it is gone. It's hidden without any disguise.
Five years passed and we moved. I emptied out all my belongings from the apartment, it took quite awhile, and that's when I found those socks. Still four pairs, still in the bottom drawer of the chest by the window. They were too small for me by several sizes by the time I found them - I had grown quite a bit - and I wondered about whose they were. I had fooled myself into thinking that they must be someone elses. How did they get here? I wanted to know. Maybe a year passed before I remembered most of the story, pieces at a time, and recalled even going in shoes without socks on certain occasions, because as a young child it seemed like I had never had enough socks.
You can forget what you have, until you find it again.
|if you hide these somewhere, you might go ahead and tell somebody about that before you forget|