You know how bored I was yesterday? I had all these BUSINESS REPLY MAIL cards that fall out of magazines. Free postage that I was just going to throw away. So I wrote notes on the cards, and I mailed them. The notes were to the person in the mail room or the admin in the sales department who would probably end up reading the card. I just asked what it was like to work at National Geographic or Florida Trend or whatever publication the card came from. "Is your job hard? Is it really noisy there? Is there much lifting? I hate lifting. Have a great day! And I'm not a weirdo, really." Just nice notes to hard workers wishing them nice days.
At work the other day, a co-worker was sitting in the breakroom looking at the Orlando Sentinel article about that terrible airplane crash in Sanford, Florida. We were commenting about how terrible it was, a kid got third degree burns over eighty percent of his body. Five people died, I think. She said it reminded her of something that happened in her town in Kentucky when she was a freshman in high school. She said one of the worse bus accidents in history occurred there. The wreck killed a bunch of kids from her school and burned a bunch of others. She described how kids came to school - her friends - and they had burns, and they had grief counciling and psychiatrists and so on. And she’s telling me all this in the break room at lunch in that setting, that context of lunch time chatting and inane conversations and people microwaving their food and stuff. I said that it was the most terrible thing I’d ever heard. And we just got quiet. I didn't know what else to say. It's tough to come up with something to say in a situation like that because you don't know where the tragedy fits into their psyche - like is she still kind of grieving over it now - twenty years later almost - or if I acted all consolatory, would it just be ridiculous and awkward or more harmful than good because it dredges up grief that she's already dealt with and put away... And then somebody else walked up and started a new conversation - about purses or shoes or something. Sometimes life has absolutely no logical context. You’re flung from one situation or conversation to another with no warning or preparation. I mean - I was just headed down to the break room to try to snag a piece of pizza or cake or something.
. . . those people from your past who you wonder about - you wonder whether they think about you . . . they do think about you. That’s how memories work. Memories ‘try’ to stay intact. Memories try to float to the surface now and then. Memories are bits of information with their own algorithms. There are lots of memories of you out there in people's heads . . .