Monday, November 16, 2009
Yes. A new term. I LOVE coming up with new terms for things I see in society. My newest, (Erasure Displacement) refers to the syndrome where people from your past seem to forget they ever knew you.
An example of this odd state:
Today, dropping my daughter off at school I ran right into a man I knew a lifetime ago. I was aware he switched his kids into the school (kids? he has kids? how can he have kids? can he be old enough to have kids? oh! yes.... we are BOTH old enough to have kids. many of them.) I spied him at the orientation but it was crowded and he didn't see me.
Usually, I drop my daughter off earlier than most of the other parents. I have to make it to work, so we sit in the car and wait until the doors open, we zoom in and I zoom out. But today is Monday and it's my Sunday(I work on Saturday) so I took my sweet time and brought her in at the same time as the masses.
And there he was. I bumped right into him.
Me: "HI!!! Oh. My. God! How've you been?"
Him: Mumble, "Um.. hi, late." his eye twitched as he ran from me and got into his BMW (nice!)
So I stood there. Was it me? Surely not. I even put on make up this morning. I looked better than I do on a workday. I even checked myself before I left the house and thought "Yep, still hot." Maybe I'm SO HOT he didn't recognize me? No...... I could see the recognition in his twitching eye.
It wasn't me he was running from. It was his past. Erasure Displacement.
Here's how it works. (I figured the whole syndrome out in the time it took me to drive the two blocks from my kids school to my house... I know, I'm losing my "figure it out" touch... I've been so tired lately... so tired)
I am a storyteller. I love my lurid, tainted, crowded, misery filled past. It gives me this deep well to dip into whenever I need to create some kind of emotional transition or character complexity. But some people want to erase their past. Let's take this guy.
He dated my very best friend for three years in our late teens and early twenties. They had a volatile relationship and a beautiful loft apartment. I know, because I PRACTICALLY LIVED WITH THEM.
There was always a lot of screaming and yelling and pizza and beer. They were glamorous and very much in love. He told me secrets. Tales of being not ordinary. Living his life on the edge. Being a rock and roll star.
By the time they broke up for good, I had to do what most people do, I had to go with who I was friends with first. The girl. We all had to break up.
But here's the point. I suppose for him it is difficult to look into the eyes of his past and say "Yep, Hey! Look at me! I didn't do ANY of those things we used to talk about."
That's the Erasure Part. Erase your past and it doesn't exist. Re write it in your mind. (YUCK!)
The Displacement part is more complex. He thinks that I'll look at what he Hasn't Become and make some kind of judgment. But really? I think he is fantastic. His boys are beautiful. His hair still as black. The smile is gone.....but we all lose that....for a bit every now and then, right?
Ordinary is just as interesting as Extraordinary. I would love to hear his story of how he got from there to here. From anti disestablishmentary, black leather pants wearing, cool loft boy-- to BMW driving father of two (Wearing a suit and a frown)
Oh well.... I guess I'll just have to make it up. Figure it out on my own. Wink and nod at the next orientation. Hey! He can be a character in my new novel!
*A note to the boy. I think you are amazing. I remember those days and love you still. I hope you really do suffer from Erasure Displacement and aren't just unhappy to see me. You were part of my life. A good part. And I've missed you. OH! And by the way! It was really good to see you. Say hi to your wife.*