I Remember Too Much (Too Well, Actually)

I remember too much. It annoys the hell out of my wife, who says things like, “your head is going to explode”  or “next lifetime I want to have the memory you have.” Watching Rizzoli and Isles this summer, a character says to another, “What’s the capitol of Chile?” Santiago, I blurt out. I think I could win on Jeopardy, but then all it takes is one obscure fact on a topic unfamiliar to you to trip you up. Other than being on Jeopardy or playing the now passé Trivial Pursuit, a good grasp of a wide body of facts is probably of little real value. Of course, not all facts or knowledge is trivial. Knowing CPR when it’s needed, the symptoms of a stroke, the PIN # of your ATM card and the like are worth plenty. That good memory is great for test taking while in school, even if it’s not as photographic as Carrie’s on Unforgettable. For a writer like me, memory is also a boon enabling a better feel for people and places while shortcutting research except to confirm what you think you know. You also need a little prudence in voicing your recollections, so as not to annoy your spouse, your friends or others.

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