Wednesday, December 17, 2008
memories and cinnamon
It’s weird, the stupid shit you remember as you get older, shit you should have forgotten years ago, stupid little details that are utterly meaningless in and of themselves, but which for you hold some significance. I was fixing some eggs this evening (yes, if you must know, for dinner I was having a four-egg omelet with tater tots and some celery and carrots and shit. There. I have reached the absolute nadir of blogging shame: I have literally blogged about food I ate. You’re welcome.)
Anyway, as I was whipping the eggs (that’s not a euphemism) I remembered out of the blue this friend I had when I was a kid, maybe 6th grade, whose mom would make ‘special’ eggs by adding a little bit of cinnamon to them. Which I thought was utterly weird. See, this kid, Axel was really a friend of a friend -- a friend of two friends actually, two kids I was in classes with and who I guess my parents knew from Michigan State. I had just moved to East Lansing like the year before and didn’t know that many people, but I hung out with these guys Jay and Dan, and their friend Axel from the ‘old neighborhood’ (an extra two blocks down the street) who I didn’t know as well. The feeling I get as I look back is that this kid’s parents weren’t university folk, and so there might have been a class thing going on there -- upper middle versus lower middle, maybe? All I know is he had like 73 brothers and sisters and his mom always seemed like she was behind on cleaning and rather harried.
So I get invited to a sleepover at this kid’s house, along with Dan and Jay, and the next morning his mom makes eggs with some cinnamon, and I have never forgotten the smell or the taste. They say when you die that the last sense that goes is the sense of smell, and that seems right to me. There is no other sense that so instantly brings up images and memories for me.
But what all of this is coming around to is that I wonder: do we ever change? I mean, we get older, we learn new facts, we fall in and out of love -- but do we ever really CHANGE on a fundamental level? I think not. I think by the time we’re teenagers we are locked into the type of people we are going to be for life, more or less. I am still that shy kid who feels awkward in new situations -- more or less. I mean, I have learned skills that help me cope with discomfort and nervousness through time spent on the stage, but inside? I’m the same kid. Trust me. I wonder how many other aspects of our lives can be directly chased back to how we reacted and learned how to react to the world when we were kids.
When I die I expect I will smell cinnamon. Or perhaps bourbon. :) Not that I plan on dying anytime soon, lol.