Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Successful Experiment

I could not remember Keanu Reeves name. This was just a minute ago. Why I wanted to remember his name is not pertinent because there is no good reason for wanting to remember his name other than the possibility of winning a big prize in a nationwide contest. Or on a TV show like Jeopardy, though it would have to be a special edition of geriatric Jeopardy or marijuana-addled Jeopardy in which long pauses are somehow part of the fun.

You could call it Dead Air Jeopardy.

But I digress. (Which is my catchphrase for the week. I use it whenever there's a danger of dead air.)

Anyway, I'm trying to remember Keanu Reeves name but River Phoenix keeps coming to mind. The similarities in sound, personal circumstance and just plain oddity must set up similar brain waves or adjacent neural paths. I send out my little blood hounds into the memory maze, and it is no surprise they tree the wrong factoid. I call them off and send them scampering away but back they come, unable to shake the River Phoenix scent.

It's vexing to fail to remember. It's a distraction from the real work at hand. I waste five minutes remembering various Keanu Reeves movies, including the "Much Ado About Nothing" he did with Kenneth Branagh, which added a whole new chapter to "Great Moments of 20th Century Miscasting."

Didn't help. Nothing could call off the memory hounds so I could call them on in a different direction.

But I'm home. I've got time to figure out how to quit wasting time. I sat down at the computer and typed "Matrix" into Google search. And then I did the experiment.

I said to myself: "You will strike the key and in a moment you will have before you a name to go with a face. Knowing that you will so soon know should eliminate the anxiety, thereby resetting your memory and clearing your brain cache. You now have ten seconds to remember before I stirke the key."And I remembered in two seconds: Keanu Reeves.

Sometimes working with my memory is like watching a glacier recede. What I want to know is under there, but I hope you haven't already had lunch.

1 comment:

G Pabst said...

Wait, wait... I'm having a metaphor moment.

When a glacier finally arrives at the end of its creepcrepcreep journey, and if that finish line is above the sea, it "calves" - huge ancient chunks creak, moan and then give way, crashing into the waves below where the timeless ice re-merges with more historically active waters. In short, it goes home

Hang on, I'm almost there.

I recently spent some time trying to remember the name of Law and Order actor Benjamin Bratt. No reason. But Benjamin Rush, a founding father, physician and signer of the Declaration kept coming out of the ice instead.

It occurs to me now that both pieces of data, captive in my meat-based media, might have been yearning to go home, calving into a sea of (Jung's idea of) collective unconscious.

Or maybe it's simply an example of - left-handed bull pen metaphor charges to the mound - poor or worn out wiring. I keep dialing one Benjamin but the other answers the 'phone. Or is that a simile?

I think I hear the creaking. As soon as the moaning starts, you'll be the first to know.