My Mediocre Memory

by Francisco Ross
(Sebastian, FL)

I cannot remember how old I was – all of my memories from childhood are hazy, for everything – but the earliest recollection I can think of was something utterly inconsequential: the underside of a footrest in my living room. I remember upholstery.

Oh, sure, the sun was shining and the dust was flying in the air and it was kind of magical to be alive and touching the underside of a footrest, but in the end, I don’t remember doing anything with family, nothing for which I have any emotional attachment, even any evidence (the footrest is gone now). It was just the day I happened to start making memories, that very moment, completely randomly.

That’s the thing about life, in the end: it’s all like that memory. It’s random, meaningless, and people so desperately want there to be a meaning because otherwise they wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Random evolutionary processes resulted in people generally having the concept of “purpose” so that they would take care of their otherwise annoying progeny, perpetuating the species and satisfying their selfish genes. And yet, for all that, people with a worldview like mine aren’t as depressed as others would think.

There isn’t a grand design, but there’s still joy in the world, there’s still pleasure. So it doesn’t matter what my earliest memory is, if I don’t assign a big importance to first memories as opposed to any other. Instead of organizing them by time, I’ll organize mine by pleasure, and come out the better for it.

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