Memory Erosion

One of the more disturbing aspects of growing older (and into the dreaded middle-age) is a rapidly-encroaching inability to focus as well as I once did. To that end, I’ve been getting into anthologies and collections of short stories, where I can keep track of a plot or cast of characters without having to make a key with a list of names and descriptions so I won’t forget. (Yes, I have begun to do that.)

It’s strange how my memory works. I can recall events quite vividly from 1994, but ask me what I did two days ago and it’s gone with the wind. Luckily, there are plenty of collections that contain shorter tales and stories for the weaker of mind, including the one pictured here.

My friend Chris just sent me this great little book: ‘The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships’ as edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein. It’s a fascinating, and often quite moving, series of memories of friendships between writers. Some focus more on the writing aspect, others more on the friendship, and together they comprise a rich and enthralling experience. That it was given to me by one of my dearest friends makes it all the more resonant, and perhaps one day I’ll tell that story of friendship (with disguised names to protect the guilt of the other party). And though my modern day memory may be fading, I remember every moment of those first few days of friendship, first planted on a trip to Puerto Rico, and cultivated with travels and talks from San Francisco to New York to Miami to Washington.

It may be time to make new memories.

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