I go through spells of overeager energy. I want to read everything ever written. I want to write down every word ever created and memorize and know it forever. I want to rearrange the symbols of letters over and over again to create new ideas, brave thoughts, passionate sentences.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m going to burst because I can’t get everything done in a lifetime that I want. I want to go back in time and make myself read Blake and Dickinson and Ginsburg and di Prima so that I’m already prepared with them by my side, but instead I keep falling into more and more knowledge, wanting it more. And the more I want to learn the more I seem to forget what I already have. Photosynthesis. It’s pretty much the only thing I remember from grade school. And to shoot a jump shot with perfect form.
For some reason, I seem to remember the people who impacted my life, the students and the teachers, more than I remember the actual learning. Their strange quirks. How in second grade all the students would put folders around their desk, bright folders like Lisa Frank with neon dolphins and prissy kittens wearing pearls. The teacher allowed the kids to do this so no one would cheat, but most of the kids did it so they could pick their noses and not get caught. Or maybe that was just me.
I remember in sixth grade making a list of all the boys I had had a crush on since kindergarten. Which was basically every boy in my class except the ones who never showered. In the same grade I remember being in the bathroom when Jessica S. showed me and my best friend her purple bra and then continued to inform us that you could make your boobs bigger by taking in big gulps of air every night before you went to bed. My best friend did this religiously until college when she finally decided it wasn’t working.
I don’t remember learning about anything else except photosynthesis and how to shoot the perfect jump shot.
Now I’m wondering about what I’m going to remember when I’m forty. Why am I even in school if I’m not going to remember the actual knowledge that I’m paying to learn about? Am I only going to recall the night where a group of us sang Madonna in our underwear? Am I only going to think about how I was once mistaken for a drag queen? I surely hope not. But how can I be certain?
While in the shower the other day I came up with the idea of “mind insurance” then Ryan defeated me by telling me you can’t insure the abstract. The concept was that graduate and PhD students could take out insurance on at least the amount of loans they took out. For the protection of thoughts within the mind. Because, after $80,000 in loans the only thing I have from the experience is what is packed within my brain. And all of that information could potentially (and most likely) be lost through time or other traumatic or dramatic experiences. It sounded good in theory. But I guess all my shower thoughts aren’t brilliant ones.
But, if I could start an abstract insurance company I would be rich. And I would have backup in case all this grad school stuff fails. In case I never learn every word ever created. In case I can’t read everything ever written. In case in the end all I remember is photosynthesis and how to shoot the perfect jump shot.