How to Memorize Everything | Part I

How to Memorize Everything | Part I

Your first grade teacher was this nice old lady. You and your classmates got to take turns standing in the front of the line holding her hand while the rest of the class trailed behind in a single file. You loved this and considered it a privilege. You remember doing this weird thing when it was your turn to hold her hand where you’d put your free palm on the soft skin of her elbow. You’d form a cup with your tiny 7-year-old hand and just hold it there. You’re not sure why you did it, but it comforted you, and she didn’t seem to mind. 

You used to have a subscription to Shape magazine, Women’s Health, regular Health, and pretty much every other fitness publication you could get your hands on. You always coveted the weight loss success stories. You liked their ah-ha moments and the happiness they found. But what you liked most was the ones where at the beginning of the story, the woman gets a promotion, works 14-hour days for 8 years, and gains 74 pounds. You liked this because they did it for The Job. It was career fat, and that seemed like a pretty good reason to gain a little weight. 

You can’t stop watching television because it’s The Golden Age and everything, and Hannah’s pregnancy on the final season of GIRLS is actually everything you’d always wanted for her character, which might be a pretty direct metaphor for the current stage you’re at in life.

You’re listening to the S-Town Podcast, which you now realize is Shit-Town, and the running themes are old clocks and the theory of time and years passing. You relate to this, of course. But you also think this is probably pretty much the theme of everyone’s life. 

You talk with your fiancé about when you met in 2015 and how much has happened within a year and a half. Not just with you, but with everything. When you met, Donald Trump was an unlikely punchline, and now he’s the reason you cried on the bathroom floor of your office 4 times during the week of November 8th. 

But you think things might be progressing despite all the darkness. You think maybe things are changing because of what’s happening with Fox News. And because of Bill Cosby. He’s awaiting a jury trial in June and you hope powerful men will stop getting away with this shit. 

And surprise, surprise: you’re grateful for the theme of another episode of GIRLS. The one where the charming, successful writer asks Hannah to come speak with him at his apartment. When she attempts to discuss the inherent power imbalance between him and the college students he’d been intimate with, he plays the victim by referencing his daughter’s perception of him and twists her words all before asking her to lie with him in his bed. And you think that unfortunately, maybe this is the problem. Maybe these powerful men really do think that young women are taking advantage of them for their fame and connections, instead of using their fame and connections to acquire sexual favors. You’re sick of the gray area just like Hannah, and confident that the problem lies within a power imbalance and abuse of such power. You hate all of this, but are comforted by the influx of conversations. You’re grateful for Big Little Lies and a discussion of consent. 

Time passes and you write less, but you remember things. The man you’re going to marry talks about getting a gold watch. You evolve with time and with the Internet and you remember that history is bigger than one presidency, one person, and one decade. You feel a sense of heavy nostalgia but are content with right now. You cherish being a grown up with an income, a desk, a life partner, and a schedule.