Perfidy of memory

Yesterday I thought of something I wanted to write about, but I cannot now recall what it was. The perverse operations of memory are maddening: I clearly remember thinking, “That would be a great subject for tomorrow’s blog entry,” and making a mental note to write about it, but I haven’t the foggiest notion what “it” was. The experience is something akin to watching a video in which some portion — a date, a sign, a face — has been deliberately blurred to prevent identification. Ironically, the whole point of this mental note was to enable me to recall and identify the very thing that has been blurred out.

Perhaps this is the origin of the expression “Swiss cheese for brains.” A quick online search reveals that “Swiss cheese brain” is a medical term used to describe certain physical brain conditions caused by pathology or genetics. There is even an actual Swiss cheese gene found in certain mutant fruit flies. I wonder if it can cross over to humans? I’ve eaten a few overripe bananas in my day, and we all know that fruit flies come from bananas.

In the end, my mental note did produce a subject for writing. So why do I still feel frustrated? In a further ironic twist, experience has shown that if I make a Herculean mental effort and finally wrest the missing piece of information from the dark recesses of my brain, it will prove to be so trite and uninteresting that I will wonder why I ever bothered to make a mental note about it at all. In other words, I can’t win.

But I’m steering clear of overripe bananas from now on, just to be on the safe side.


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