Memory is a strange phenomenon. The subconscious wreaks havoc with our memories if only to justify our idiosyncrasies. We can remember a brief instant deep in our past for no reason except that, for some reason, the brain bookmarked it. Age begins to wear on memories; if it hasn’t been important for a while, the brain tosses it out. At the end the brain trashes functional memory but keeps fantasized and mindless habits.
An old codger, mariner’s brain has started tossing things; mostly names of people and nouns. It has come to the point that mariner often fails in the telling of a joke because the brain doesn’t share the key word in the punchline. Short memory is a turkey shoot. Mariner can know the word he wants to use and three seconds later it no longer exists – only to return ten minutes later.
But what is lost in the tossing is huge chunks of our lives. Mariner’s wife will say “Do you remember when we visited so-and-so in Nashville and had to take a train because the highways were closed?” To which mariner replies, “We’ve never been to Nashville. Who is so-and-so?” Who among us watches television and sees dozens of faces vaguely recognized but why and when are they familiar has been tossed?
Mariner raises this issue because of a phenomenon most have experienced. Like most of us, mariner has a collection of songs from his youthful days. A few years ago mariner compiled his favorites into a list called simply, GOAT. There are over ninety songs from every venue, era, concert, pop, classic, jitterbug, Broadway and every type of troubadour. Mariner plays GOAT every once in a while when he is preoccupied with office work or other quiet activities.
HE SINGS ALONG KNOWING EVERY WORD OF EVERY SONG, EVERY CHORD SHIFT, EVERY SYNCOPATION, EVERY STYLE AND EVERY VOICE. HE HAS ALL THE IMAGES OF THE ENTERTAINERS SINGING THE SONG.
Mariner is an idiot savant.