The cool/odd thing was that groom was just some guy I knew in high school. He wasn’t an old boyfriend that you’d suspect I’d remember. He wasn’t even someone I hung out with. He was a guy in my chorus group that I liked. Apparently, that was enough for my subconscious to reproduce him in my dream. Even stranger to me was that the hall was filled with people from high school that I was remembering bits of their personalities, their relationships, and definitely their faces. And other then my high school reunion a year ago, I haven’t thought of these people for years.
If I blame being out of sorts on the dream, then I lay the blame for the dream squarely on the shoulders of the book Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac, by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s an interesting book about a girl who loses four years of memories and an important four years at that when she hits her head. She has to piece some parts of her life back together and discover who she really is again, making her question her choice of friends, boyfriend, and activities. While amnesia can have that soap-opera-plot feel to it, I found it easy to go along with in the book. I think it works particularly in a teen book, because often those are the years of reinventing yourself, sometimes repeatedly, but without the benefit or hindrance of forgetting who you once were. The characters and relationships were realistic and kept me engaged in the story. A well-written and very enjoyable book.
But I think that my dream came from this passage, my favorite part of the book, namely because it’s so true:
“I don’t see him much,” I said to Dad finally.I loved that part, because it tells teens that all of the drama of high school fades. I know myself that it seemed like all of it was incredibly important, so much so that it could be overwhelming. But maybe an even better message for me now is that these memories are always a part of you, even if only in your dreams.
“It happens, baby,” Dad nodded and patted me on the hand, and then he read my mind. “You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned the dates of the Hay-Herran Treaty and the Pythagorean theorem. You especially forget everything you didn’t really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you’ll forget those, too. You forget your junior year class schedule and where you used to sit and your best friend’s home phone number and the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. For me, it was something by Simon & Garfunkel. Who knows what it will be for you? And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties. Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.”