Jarring the Memory

Posted by dwallace on January 27, 2012 in Dirty Little Secret, doctor, essays, memory, moral dilemma |

I was thinking about what it would take to be the world’s greatest essayist, because I’m that much of a dork and devoted to this craft. And it made me realize that besides writing everyday, you’d probably have to have a hell of a lot of writing prompts.

As my mind began to wander, I thought of myself when I was eight or nine year’s old living in a single wide trailer in St. Charles, MO. My sister’s best friend at the time was named Joclyn who was a couple of years younger than me.

Joclyn stayed over at our house a lot. When she did, she’d take a bath at our house. The bathroom was at the end of the wood-paneled hallway and when I knew Joclyn was in the tub, I’d knock on the door and tell her I had to pee.

I can’t tell you the exact reason why I would do that, but at nine years old, I’m pretty sure you can see that I was already trying to figure out how to see a girl naked.

As I was thinking about this lost memory, all of a sudden in my mind, I saw my mom standing in our old living room. She was pulling out a Girl Scout cookie order form from behind the bookshelf. Joclyn had hid it there because my sister had sold several hundred boxes of Girl Scout cookies and she didn’t want my sister to win some sort of prize.

My mom went ahead and bought the cookies anyway and sold them to whoever she could. All she had to do was explain that my sister had lost her form and people felt sorry for her and bought them. We didn’t find out about Joclyn hiding the form until several months later when she told her brother David, who then told my mom.

Joclyn also told her bother David that I played doctor with her. Which I did, but I lied about it when he and my mom confronted me about the incident.

It’s crazy what your mind can remember regardless of how long it’s been or how embarrassing the situation was. I guess that’s why we temporarily forget those things until it’s jarred from our memories.

While writing this essay, I realized that writing prompts are not necessarily one of the keys to being a good essayist. (I didn’t have one for this piece.) What you probably need to have more than writing prompts are lots of old memoires to drag out of the closet for the world to see. Then you need to have the balls to write about them like no one’s going to read it, no matter how embarrassing it is. (Which is why I really hate knowing that my mom and grandma read this blog.)

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