Twice today I had good thoughts and I did my normal routine, “Alright remember this you little shit. Say it over and over and memorize it. Keep saying it. You don’t need to write it down if you keep repeating. It’s good for your brain.” And three minutes later both thoughts were gone. And these were good thoughts. The ones I really want to remember. It’s a more pathetic mental tactic than saying someone’s name over and over in my head when I first meet them. There is not a chance I’ll remember their name and even when I’m sure I know it I still won’t believe myself that it’s the right name. Take one of my aunts for example, I’ve known her my entire life and one Christmas I brought a high school girlfriend home and when it came time to introduce her to my aunt I completely blanked…. “Elizabeth this is….um…this is my aunt.”
Part of why I started journaling is because I literally can’t remember things. Unless it’s a very specific detail that is completely irrelevant. Like the license plate of the kids that were burning doughnuts on the neighborhood lawns when I was 15. GDAX37. That one is locked in there. Or my Fifth Third Bank debit card number too (5424….). But those are from years ago, before my memory started becoming unreliable.
My phone, my main journal, the index cards scattered in right angles all over my desk, post its, the white board, and my ‘ideas for movies’ journal are all used to capture these thoughts now. When I have them, I write them down, knowing that there is not a single chance that I will remember them 5 minutes later.
It’s a bit of a problem though, because someone will be referring to something that I said, from an incredibly meaningful moment, and I’ll just kind of smile, like, “Yeah, what movie was that from again?”
I try not to write down the numbers for the bulk foods. Those I memorize. That is my strategy for fighting this memory breakdown. And for whatever reason, I can do well with the numbers. It’s words and structured thoughts that are lost before they even grow fingernails.
But even writing these things down is not reliable. It’s brilliant when it’s inside. It sounds good, it feels good, the texture is right, and the context is perfect and then it’s as basic as a pillow by the time it hits the page.
I wonder, can I become the first person in history to write exactly how I think? That is my focus but is that even a reasonable expectation? I need to do some brain research and talk to some smarter people. I need to know the process of conceiving ideas and then committing them to word form. There are other players involved i know, and once I find out who they are I can set up some stakeouts around their general vicinity to see what the hell is going on. I feel these things, or people, or ghosts, are sabotaging some of my best work. If I could just get a camera inside my head and automate this whole process I would be a lot happier. Which goes back to the laziness. I want to be a one book wonder. Write one best seller and then slip away into sustained and exciting travel and/or drug use. What do you do after you’ve been successful at something? They say start over. All I want to do is make it and then quit, or I’ll say retire because it’s classier.
“Don’t you want to do anything else,” they’ll ask?
“Not particularly,” I’ll say.
That’s not true though. There are many things I want to do. I just don’t want to actually do them, you know, myself. I want that creative dream team that follows me around with a notebook and a laptop and when I say something like, “Hey we need a new logo design for our verbally abusive, inspirational tea company,” they’ll start hammering away at the keyboard and jumping on conference calls until my desk is filled with stacks of proposals and samples at which point I’ll say, “Sort through these and bring me the best five,” and they’ll scramble again with their headsets until there’s five very clean and incredibly brand new manila envelopes on my large wooden desk, which just so happens to be the only piece of furniture in my entire loft office space, and I’ll look through the envelopes and pick the one I want and say, “This is great, offer them 65% of what they’re quoting and tell them we need it tomorrow.”
That’s five minutes of work that I would do every day.
Am I wrong to think that I’ve put in a lot of hours, and that I’m ready to retire? Yeah, probably. I mean people over fifty would say I was a dipshit but that’s why I don’t really talk to people that old.