The title of this post is the title of a book which was the novel of the year of 2015 in Sweden, and which touches on the topics of love, friendship, and a lot of other things. The title was, to me, reminiscent of my life. When I try to remember all the illnesses I’ve had in my life from a bad case of pneumonia with little to no chances of survival when I was just two years old, the “main one” when I was 12, dialysis, transplantation, several kidney failures, the shocks of finding out I have basal cell skin cancer, anaphylactic shocks from countless penicillin shots, dysentery, a coma caused by the West Nile virus (from a mosquito bite), the final kidney failure, another round of dialysis, countless tests and treatments.
My veins are hard, brittle, and full of knots. My skin is thinner and looks like a map of the world after all the corticosteroids and procedures. A medical cockroach is what my nephew calls me, very lovingly. I prefer to call myself a goldfish, not because of me being a Pisces (according to astrology), but because of the animal’s extremely short memory, and ability to live in extremely small, glass fishbowls, learning something new whenever a minute passes. I’m a lot like that. I’m very good at forgetting the ugly things. I just “delete” or “backspace.” Never “paste” after I “cut.” Our ability to remember and forget selectively is an amazing thing. I seldom remember the ugly, nor do I evoke spirits of hardships that have ended long ago.
Try to remember just the nice memories. I started doing this 25 years ago. I was sitting on a ski lift, on a wonderful and sunny day. White, virgin snow was shining like it was sprinkled with little crystals, surrounded by a thick pine forest that filled the air with an awe-inspiring smell, which took me back to my childhood reminding me of my father’s freshly shaved cheek, sprinkled with the famous Pinot Noir. “Remember!” I told myself. Remember the sun on your cheek, the smell of the pine trees, the sparkle in the snow. That’s what life is supposed to be about, that’s what you should remember! That beautiful feeling is something you can repeat in your head indefinitely, play it over when you’re sad, or having a hard time.
Too many plain, but amazing feelings and moments just pass us by. And yet we remember the ugly. All we remember is ugly. Well. I’ve decided to rebel! I’ve decided to become a goldfish and forget. It’s worth a try…