As time goes on
I pride myself on my memory. On my brain. My recollection. But it fails me in one spectacular way.
I don’t remember much of my childhood, or even early adulthood. Everything before about 1998-1999 just sort of slips away from me. I know why, because that was the time of my life where I starting doing different things, and changed my outlook and path considerably.
1999 was when I started acting. It was when I met my wife, Sundi, some of my “longest” friends. Shortly after that was when I started working with video and film, learned to act, write, direct and edit. It set me on the path to begin doing improv, directing plays and shorts, working for myself and starting a Masters in VFX. It was right at the beginning of the “indie” boom, and I met some incredible people that really influenced what I do today and what I want to do tomorrow – people like Wendy Ward, Kevin Bohl, Chris Messineo and Ali Farahnakian. People I miss a lot.
I definitely have drifted from that place. The last improv I did was in 2007, the last short I did 2009 or 2010. Now I’m a working Dad and just have enough time to make dinner, play with the kids, find some time with my wife. It’s not that my desire to be that reinvented person has waned, just the time I would need to dedicate. Shoot, I have two classes and a thesis left on a Masters, and that has dragged on forever.
But before that… I just don’t remember. Facebook helps – it really can connect you with the past, if you can remember it. And when you do, it is funny how your perceptions of who you were, once those memories fade, changes as well. I had a friend from high school give me a totally different recollection of his perception of me during that time than my own. I had an ex recall times and places in conversation that I have no memory of. I see faces from my childhood in South Bend, Indiana, and aside from their face I can’t remember a single thing about them. On a whim, I just did a quick search for a friend from that time, a girl I had a crush on at, what, 12 years old… she lives in Arkansas, of all places. Who knew?
There’s still so much I want to do. I’ve always been someone that looks to the next thing—perhaps I’m deleting the past, like Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, since it doesn’t “matter” to what’s at hand. Maybe it is simply because I was the one that “left” – moved away at critical times in my life (13 from Indiana, 22 and then again 24 from Massachusetts, 34 from New York). I’ve always said I never have a lot of “friends”, and those friends seem to disappear as well from my life, either because I leave town or they do: Andy, Steve, Stephen in grade school; Nick in high school; Kevin and Jen in college; Al, Tony, Becky and Bob after college; Chris, Andy, Jim, JJ, Dre in my 20s; Bryan, Rian, Al, Kevin, Emilie, Shannon, Adam in my 30s. Who will drift away in my 40s, 50s, beyond?
And is it them or me that’s drifting? Or both? My memory can’t be trusted, can it?
I don’t know what made me think of this today. I can’t even recall that. It scares me a bit. I wish I could recall lines from plays I was in, or remember what made me laugh so hard at such-and-such bar that one time, or who that person my Dad or Mom say they saw is. Some things I can, some I cannot. I have vivid, striking, almost photographic memories of moments in time. And then huge swaths are nothing, like a patchwork quilt with giant gaps. Is that the way it works with everyone, or is that unusual? I have no way to tell.
What I do know, what I am sure of—I’m me because of it all, the remembered and the forgotten. Do I need to remember more to know where to go next? I hope not, because breakfast is a blur.