Inquiry: Selective Memory and the Rolling Stones

An Abstractness, 5024. LJ Frank

by LJ Frank

One day as a recent holiday approached I sat in a coffee shop somewhere a few miles off a state highway and not far from the Intracoastal on the East coast where a boat docked, cargo stowed, fuel tank filled, and a crew partner waited for me to head south.

I sat there thinking about my past when I received a call from a gregarious and fashionable distant friend several states away. I thought at first this charming, intelligent and gorgeous woman apparently was experiencing “the want of a desired memory” when she called and reflected on a specific nostalgic past event in which she suggested, “we were both very intimate participants.”

We talked for over thirty minutes when I realized my cellular phone was in need of a recharge, so while conversing with her I plugged it into a nearby receptacle, as she recited that evening’s event over the ensuing remainder of the hour…and the rather exotic and intense affair we allegedly enjoyed. “It was the Rolling Stones’ effect,” she noted.

The problem was her memory of what took place was at variance with mine. I pointed out to her that perhaps she experienced that wonderful evening with someone else, as I never attended a Rolling Stones rock concert over twenty years ago.

“Shame on you!”  She said. And proceeded to describe in salacious detail what occurred after the concert ended, causing me to wish I’d been there with her. The problem was, I was not even in that city or country of which she spoke about during the particular time period. So I began wondering with whom she was talking about.

She said, “please don’t you dare deny it, you know what that night and the following two days meant to us” and then proceeded to tell me how she reflects on it now and then and that’s why in part she called. She wanted to know what I was doing and why. I wasn’t about to tell her it was a private matter, so I politely said, my life was rather mundane and for the sake of recall I keep a journal that I write in every week and I would definitely review that wonderful time.

“I’d be delighted to hear what you wrote about us.”

“Thank you,” I replied, “May I ask something?”

“Of course,” she said.

“Do you think memories overlap? I mean…because we want something to happen or believe in something strongly we might confuse it with another alternative and so we may end up planting perhaps a mistaken memory in our mind, even when the facts are shown we are in error?”

“It wasn’t a fanciful memory, if that’s what you mean,” she said. “I wrote it down in my journal just last year.”

“Hmm…Please believe me, I’m glad we had such a wonderful evening, I apologize for the memory’s those type of stimulating experiences one truly misses as one ages.”

“I agree,” She said.

After we said our good byes, I said to no one in particular, “Selective memories can be at times the most amusing and wistful on the canvas of life…with a colorful expression applied by an abstract artist.”

I walked out to my car and then it dawned on me just as I sat down behind the steering wheel looking out the front windshield. “Oh my goodness! She mistook me for my ‘brother’…he was the true Rolling Stones fan…