Why have some wholly mundane memories gotten stuck inside me while I cannot recall why I walked into the kitchen? How is it that I forget my shopping list, and everything I have written on it, but remember, at the age of eight, thinking how cool I was when I “popped a wheelie” on my stingray bike before skidding to a stop to talk to an older girl in my neighborhood?
For me, one flash of completely meaningless memory is particularly persistent. This bit of memory seems errantly and permanently snagged in the cogs of my reasoning. At least once a month—sometimes far more often—the memory suddenly flashes across whatever else I am thinking.
The memory is from late summer 1991. That summer, with the help of many valued friends, I constructed my own house. Near the end of the framing process, I had all outside walls fully enclosed save one inside corner of the master bathroom. There, I had left a single half-sheet of plywood unfastened so I could access the inside of the house. The memory is of me climbing through the open studs of that wall to go to work on the inside of the house one evening.
Me climbing through the stud wall.
Of all things, why that?