Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Book of Questions

If you could have the best year of your life but not remember anything about it after, would you live it anyway?

     Ehringhaus Dorm, 1987, my room.
     Christy, Daphne, Jenny, Mike, Arlene, Steve, and maybe Scott and Regina...the usual crowd.
     The book took our conversations into fun but sometimes dangerous places. Those are the best kind, especially late at night.
     I was the only person who said yes to that question.
     They seemed afraid of something, but I couldn't figure out what it was for the life of me.
     How could there be anything to fear from a year promising to be "the best?"
     Don't you see?
     I tried to look at it from their points of view, but couldn't, not at all.
     What was so very important about the remembering part that made it matter more than the living part?
     How could ANYTHING be more important than that?
     Do you agree or would you say, "No thanks," as well?
     I was ready to take the plunge right into my mystery year, but they were uncomfortable with the idea of living the rest of their lives with it sitting there, in between the rest.
     They worried about the time they would waste afterward, wondering what they did.
     But as long as it promised to be the best year of my life, I didn't care.
     Once I took the idea apart, backwards and forwards and sideways, I was even psyched about it.
     My 20-year-old mind decided the only way it really could be such a wonderful year would be to spend it doing things I would want to remember, not regret. It was that simple.
    Last summer, when I found out more about my brain and how my memories are stored, I thought back to that question. Perhaps I was so comfortable with the idea of forgetting an entire year of my life because my brain was doing it more than theirs.
     Maybe my disease had already changed the way I looked at certain things, like the importance of experiencing something in the moment vs. remembering it afterward.
     I really don't know, but I do know that question made me feel very different the same way my epilepsy does. It's a secret, confusing way, meant to be treasured but hidden.