Let’s face it, I have a selective memory. People can quote things I’ve said and I wonder what they’re talking about. Sometimes, I’m not even sure who these people are.
But, books. Those I remember.
The memory of leaving the local library with the first book I checked out as a child, Cowboy Andy. Its solid, thick cover felt good in my small hands and I beamed with pride. Over time, I moved out of the children’s section and rooted around through the remaining stacks. If a book was out of place, I knew it.
The blue or yellow covers of the Nancy Drew books. Going off to fish at a lake in the White Mountains of Arizona, more intent on the story of Brains Benton than my bobber. Sitting on the back of a truck while taking a break from driving a tractor and reading The World According to Garp.
Reading at stop lights, in lines at banks, at a restaurant over a meal. Reading and re-reading certain poetic sentences from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz-Zafon. Marveling at Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Beating up a bad guy with Jack Reacher, listening to jazz with Harry Bosch, trying to figure out a way to marry John Taylor and learning that my towel is indispensable when traveling the Universe.
Crossing the Delaware, hurtling through the night down a steep mountain with Vice President Teddy Roosevelt after he learns President McKinley has been shot, standing on Little Round Top with Joshua Chamberlain’s troops, riding through Iraq with the First Reconnaissance Marines…
These things I remember. And if I’ve had to push out a few real world memories to keep them, I can live with that.