Now that I’ve agreed to go on a date with Bachelor #3, we exchange actual email addresses and make plans for our date the following week. In the meantime, he sends me emails. Lots of emails. I reply.
86 emails in one day.
I give him my phone number. He calls me and we talk – for two hours or so. Late into the evening.
It’s all I can do to get off the phone, even at eleven pm.
When I’m off the phone, it’s all I can do to remember what his voice sounds like, except that it’s the voice of a boy – unnervingly young. It troubles me that I cannot remember the sound of his voice.
I’ve read books and articles about how memory works: first things go into your short term memory, and from there they are filed away into your long-term memory. But if you don’t have time to process them properly – like, say, you are in a car accident and lose consciousness – then they don’t get filed away in your long-term memory. They are gone forever.
Or, if for your every waking moment, your attention is consumed by something else. My daughter had observed this phenomenon when I was married to The Departed: I repeated myself constantly, asked her the same questions over and over, sometimes minutes apart during the car ride home from school. My life felt empty, but my brain was engaged, constantly – elsewhere.
But at the time, I don’t think of this. I don’t have time.