I’m feeling a little philosophical today. My “steel trap” memory was definitely inherited from my father. He would remember a customer, and the exact contents of their last purchase, 10 years after their previous visit to the family building supplies and contracting business. He held the entire inventory of the store in his head. For every useless fact that I can recite (for example, only one sign on Interstate 81 has ever spelled “Bartel Rd” in Brewerton correctly and that was installed in 1984 and incorrectly replaced in 1992), I have many happy memories and memories that haunt and taunt me. Every jab or slur made at me in high school. Every time I made someone feel bad (intentionally or otherwise). The time an elementary teacher told me to just be myself and it’ll all figure itself out. My first crush (in 5th grade), being confused by it and then being devastated when he left the school.

In the 2004 long forgotten, short run, sci-fi television series “Century City”, there was an episode about a pill one could take to selectively erase their memories to improve their life today. Instead of letting it go, they just chemically erased it.

Would you erase your memories if you could selectively erase only the bad ones?

Despite the ‘garbage’ that lives in my steel trap, I wouldn’t be interested. I’m just shy of my life’s halfway point and I figure all of that ‘stuff’, good, bad or insignificant, makes me who I am today. It still haunts me once in a while but it’s part of my baggage. And sometimes that baggage just needs to be put in storage, not thrown away.