Thursday, 10 August 2006


It is a funny thing; but I exist and think and feel despite huge swathes of my 30 years being closed off to me, for reasons I cannot fathom. I first realised it when I was about 15 I think; that I could not remember being 5,6, or 7 at all. I thought and thought, looked at photographs, tried to remember, walked over and past old haunts; but nothing came back. Today I just feel something; a shudder or a glow or something else, more ambiguous, that is a mixture of pleasant and worrying sensations, when I see certain things, including, bizarrely, the side indicators of old Fiats (don't ask - I don't know and don't really want to know) or painted black wooden window frames. But even now I remember very little about being 15. I don't remember what it was like being at school, what it felt like, what I thought; I remember what it smelled like and that brings back - self confidence, arrogance, immortality, fear - but I couldn't tell you what I actually did all day, or all night (probably just as well). I remember my humiliations - of course - but what else, I'm not really sure. I vaguely remember Oxford, but what I read there needs to be re-read to be remembered properly. And I half remember my near on year spent in Australia. But not the air, the birds, the feel of my feet on the ground.

It is said that you need memory for identity. Clearly you do - in some respects. I don't remember my experiences but am still composed of them - I think. At some level the memory of my first 8 years has not been completely wiped, but is retained in personality or in symbol, like a Windows icon - trees, sounds, fears. Is that why I find the crappy music of the early 80s so utterly evocative, so spine tinglingly close to a real feeling? I know my personality- I remember my favourite x, y and zs, my first day at school, my name, my old friends. If I forgot these, and my family, I maybe would cease to be me, and suffer amnesia. But I can survive barely knowing anything about my past, in some cases barely more than I know my future; and seem a coherent personality, a self aware being. Could things I do not currently remember somehow be erased from my whatever it is (subconscious, etc &c) and then cause me to suffer amnesia or personality problems?

The question I really want to answer is: is there any more? Is there more to me, more to any of us? Is there something waiting to be found? Are there memories that I glimpse in dreams or only see as symbols that can be shown fully for what they are, even if those memories are just me packing my old bag and heading off to school? This may just be a symptom of a wider issue - I would like there to be more. To me, to the universe.

My mistake in the previous posts made me think of all of this: I know something was wrong, terribly wrong, with what happened to England on the 1998/99 tour of Australia, and that I was there; but what the hell was it - I don't recall, properly. I see images, stills, hear noises, have vague feelings of outrage. Other than that it is guess work or Wisden.

-You see, all my life, I've had this feeling that there's something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
-Oh, that's just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the universe has that.

(Remembered, not looked up, from Hitchhikers Guide, Arthur and Slartibartfast)

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