As years pile up under the heading of, The Past, most of what just happened is beyond retrieval. Yet, if pressed, we could probably recover yesterday and maybe the day before that.
I’ve always been amused to watch a witness on TV courtroom drama recall in great detail what occurred on the evening of Oct. 23rd eleven years ago.
I just lost two hours. My version is that I was under an anaesthetized sleep. I was in the pre-op area asking the anesthetist for a slightly heavier dose than last time I underwent this procedure. I’m not fond of being half-awake with a covering over my face except for an aperture exposing my left eye. The next thing I knew I was back in the same place two hours later.
Nothing unusual about that. Except that’s not what happened. During my post-op visit to the doctor the following day he told me I was fully awake responding to his orders to move my eye-ball up, down or sideways. How could I have been so present and absent at the same time?
I shall never forget what I cannot remember. This is a classic case of an unreliable narrator. There were possibly a half dozen witnesses to document my behavior. Maybe I also sang a medley of arias from Gilbert & Sullivan or recited the roster of the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers. Maybe I killed cock robin. I’ll never know.
I saw that movie, the one where a hypnotized guy is instructed to scale the wall of a mansion, memorize the combination to the safe behind the portrait hanging in the great hall, swipe the crown jewels and deposit them under a specified park bench. And then return to his job as mild-mannered pharmacist in Grover Corners.
But inspector, I’ve been here the whole time, triturating counterclockwise with my mortar and pestle.
Oh yeah, then what is that mud doing on your shoes? And how do you explain an eye-witness who saw a man in a hospital gown, open in the back, leaping over a six foot high hedge with a counterclockwise look on his face and a shiny object in his hand with your fingerprints?