Monday, March 31, 2008

No Memory

A short break from the series. Last night an inmate walked up and asked if I remembered him. Six foot three or four, at least 240 pounds. I told him no, sorry. That surprised him. Evidently we fought fifteen years ago. He was looking at thirty years and had nothing to lose. He said he remembered how calm I was, that I kept giving him the option of the easy or the hard way and, being young and bull headed he insisted on hard.

Still no memory. It was fifteen years ago. I remember some fights from that era, significant ones... but I'm not sure what it takes to count as significant any more. We talked and he walked away. I turned to Mark, the deputy, "I don't remember it. How screwed up is that?"

"We've been doing this for a long time, sarge."

Yeah. Over fifteen years. I have a rough estimate of the number of uses of force I've been in, 400 or more. Most of those weren't epic. I remember clearly only a handful. Occasionally I find an old report that details blood and fast decisions and I have no memory of it. The ones I remember are important in some way. Things I learned, mistakes made, miracles sometimes.

Feeling a little old right now.


The Moody Minstrel said...

Today I had a mother and her apparently twenty-something daughter approach me in a shopping center, address me by name and sensei, bow profusely, and offer me all kinds of very polite greetings and expressions of gratitude for all I had done for them, especially for the daughter.

I returned the greetings with equal politeness and left feeling flattered, honored...

...and totally confused. I had no idea who either of them were.

I occasionally see and recognize people here who were students of mine more than a decade ago, but incidents like this, where someone clearly knows me but I don't have any clue who they are, have been becoming more numerous.

After a while it all gets lost in an ever-thickening fog of memory, I guess.

Steve Perry said...

You know that memory is the second thing to go ...