Memory Fails and Successes

What did I do in early October 2013? What was I thinking? Why did I do certain things? What phone did I use? Why didn’t I take any photos? What was I most worried about?

Despite a long history of recording various things online (Foursquare, blog, flickr), in preparation of a potential five-minute storytelling session, I went back to the events of October 2013. Specifically when I was playing Assassins for Come Out and Play. I did win the game later that month, but I couldn’t remember how and who. I remember the hours I spent on 2nd street at the Starbucks watching a building. I remember social engineering my way into a SRO in Union Square and the follow up email that I sent to the game organizer. I also remember how the card slipped out of my pocket while riding and I went back and forth on Valencia to find it, crushed in the pavement 15 minutes later. I searched my email and found some loose artifacts. And even searched my foursquare history. But to no avail.

I needed the artifacts, the actual artifacts of the game. I couldn’t remember who my second kill was. Was it someone who gave up easily? Did I easily get his card? Did he email me? Was I obsessed with who he was?

When I got home, I was obsessed with figuring out the mystery. My room isn’t that big and my possessions are rather organized in certain piles. Formal paperwork. Professional books. Ice cream travel guide artifacts. Paper for shredding. Sentimental papers.

Then I realized how much I loved looking at the artifacts from Assassins. It wasn’t about the fact that they reminded me about the game. But it reminded me about my careful planning, diligence, and…need I say…hunting to win the game. As I went up and down my shelf, I remember how I would stare the cards months later and smile at my glory. Most of my life, all my life, I have rarely won games. I am not physically attuned, so my speed and agility is quite lacking. I would like to think that I am intelligent, but there’s always someone more clever than me. Then the chance games, I never quite feel that I deserve the win because I didn’t quite earn it. So when I gaze on my win for Assassins, I feel pride.

And then like many things that I lose in my room, I suddenly know where to find it and immediately find it. I remember my motivations and goals immediately as I gaze at the photos. I remember standing in the lobby of stubhub, watching a man with a beard. And suddenly, that pleasure of pride fills me up again. I really did work for this and I did it.

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