Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's in a Name?

I've stopped remembering names.  I don't know how it happens, but some time in the last year I just quit.

I read a lot of fiction.  Not romance, or historical fiction, but genereally sub-humorous prose with zany characters if I can find it.  I like Tim Dorsey and Carl Haiisen ( can never spell that right) but also a lot of women writers, too many to mention.  Once I went through a series of baseball and even golf novels, but that's immaterial here.

The thing is that I am reading along and I cannot keep the characters straight.  I pick up the book and look in mid sentence where I left off, (I can remember where I left off, that's interesting), but I do not remember the story line, or who these people are.  I have to say that if left to my own devices I will read 3 or 4 books a week, and that often the character names overlap so that there may be the same names in consecutive books, or even similar story lines which is purely coincidental, but it adds to the confusion.

I look at the page and wonder is Rory the doctor with a disabling disease, or is she the housewife living multiple lives in another dimention?  I don't really know until I have back tracked a couple of pages or just gone forward to see what she does next.

The last book I read had so many characters that I treated them as I had when I read the "Russians" in my youth.  The names were so cumbersome I just used the first inital, and raced past those crippling amalgams of consonants jangling in my mind.  Eventually, in a burst of inspiration I quit reading them altogether. The book I was reading did not have difficult names, just too many to keep straight.

I forget the names of neighbors and people I meet sporadically, like at once a year parties.  I may have spoken to them for an hour, but guaranteed, I will not recall their names 5 minutes or a year later.  They, however remember mine, and I have no idea why or how they do.

I will remember your name if I have known you for 20 years or so, but last night in a dream, I forgot the names of some very dear friends.  It could be that I have not seen them for years, and they did not look like themselves as sometimes happens in dreams.  I woke up troubled.

I'm kind of worried, but most people say we are all forgetting things, and there is some stress to consider.

The thing is, if you run into me and I appear not to know you, just introduce yourself again.   I will remember you or be happy to meet you.  Does it matter which?

1 comment:

  1. I am the same way but just cannot admit it to people.

    I long given up trying to remember names in books or movies. I remember the characters but not their names.

    I see SO many people day in and day out that it is hard to keep people straight!

    So I smile and nod a lot.


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