There’s a meme tag going around that asks what your earliest childhood memory is. And thankfully, I have not been tagged, because honestly, I have a very difficult time recalling specific memories (kind of like Heather talks about.) Once something triggers a memory I can get some pretty amazing detail out of it, bit for the most part, if you ask me something like “what was life like when you were 7 years old,” you’ll probably be met with a blank stare.

I don’t have a clue. I know we were living in Germany. How’s that for rich detail?

Generic questions won’t help me dig those memories out of the recesses, either. It has to be something fairly specific. We’ve been musing over the Spouse Thingy being in Guys & Dolls in high school because the Boy is in a production of it now, and I can remember pretty much in Technicolor Detail watching the play and talking to friends about it (because most of my friends were in drama), and those memories trigger other memories of the school and Senior Square, the smells of the campus, and other odd things.

But try to pull a memory out of nowhere?

I don’t think I can.

I was thinking about it earlier today as I sat here and stared at the computer screen; I realized my inability to draw on my own past is a reason I’m having so much trouble getting the story I want to work on out of my head. I know it’s a good story—it could very well be better than anything else I’ve written—but even though it’s fiction, in order to make it work, I need to be able to step back in time and draw details out of my own life. It has the potential to be a raw and personal piece, but face it, if you have a hard time calling on the particulars, you can’t write a very personal story.

My childhood is largely locked inside my head…I’ll give anyone who has the key a great big bag of M&Ms. Peanut or milk chocolate.

And Murf is ineligible. I already know he remembers things differently than I do…I mena, some on. We stuff him into a VW bug and piled 20 people on top of him, and he recalls it as me making sure he was included in things…

Laughing 1

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