I opened this blog with a post on forgetting by César Aira. I understood him to be referencing memory as the particular tendency toward rumination; in that I agree with him. There's so much we don't know yet about the brain. Alzheimer's is different in that plaque formations gum up the works. Sludge in the system
can't be a good thing.
I think I have a good memory. That opinion is reinforced by the people in my life who tell me I have a great memory. Yet, it's my younger sister, who has Asperger's, who has an uncanny memory. When we were growing up, back in the time of phone books and address books, our family didn't need them. We all just asked my sister. She was like our Siri. We didn't think anything of it.
My sister was middle aged before she got the diagnosis of Asperger's. School was an impossible time for her. Nobody knew anything about Asperger's back then. My sister would prepare for tests by trying to memorize entire chapters of books. My parents didn't know how to help her. She was the youngest of five; my sister and I were away at college, my brothers were busy with high school sports.
I was trying to help her on one of my semester breaks and she said
the most insightful thing to me: I don't know what goes under what.
That notion of the order of things is no small deal. I watch it unraveling now with my mom. She announced she's going to bed and after some time I go in to check on her. She had pulled back the covers, put her pajamas on, and then forgot what her original intention was. She sees the bed unmade and starts to make it.