Monday, December 12, 2011

The Memory Box

Every once in a while I stumble on something from my past -- a person, a forgotten place, a random item -- that kicks open the gates of nostalgia for me.

The resulting tide has actually managed to knock me backwards in time -- maybe not physically but definitely created some kind of temporal wormhole in space-time that my mind tumbles through. There are a few moments of flash memories, images, smells, feelings, thoughts and then I blink, blink, blink like the worst kind of movie cliche to bring myself back to present day.

Rise to Honor looked pretty damn
cool in 2003.
It has happened to me once or twice as it relates to gaming, especially when it comes to the Rueben sandwiches served at a Sony event in San Francisco (in 2003) and my experience with the recent re-release of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (which induced a certain amount of post-traumatic stress), but mostly those strong memories stab back into existence when I'm suddenly confronted by a person, especially when they have a kid (or kids) in tow and I realize just how much time has slipped through my fingers. Since my oldest son turned 12, this seems to be happening more and more, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact I remember so much of my pre-teen years. Especially all the girls I had crushes on! Bumping into them now -- sometimes I don't even recognize them and even with an introduction it takes my brain a few seconds to process the name, blink, blink, blink -- is jarring and it actually takes me days to shake this weird lag between my life 20+ years ago and present day where I'm closing in on 35.

I'm not sure that I'd ever want to go back to those days if I was given the chance. I kind of like the fact most of those memories are in a tidy box that opens every once in a while to remind me how far I've come (along with everyone else).

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