Friday, January 25, 2013


A blister on your heel from a new pair of shoes can be pretty annoying. A blister on your hands from using a shovel or tool is terribly irritating. A memory blister is the most painful of all. Every time you think it’s gone  something antagonizes it and there it is all throbbing and stinging again. It’s a pain you want to forget but can’t help but want to remember.

I’ve had various kinds of memory blisters through my life. Actually I’m surprised that I’m not a giant bipedal blister tromping through the city streets, tearing through train over passes and power lines, tossing buses through buildings until the Air Force is called to take me down. I am lucky that hasn’t happened.

It doesn’t take much to get a memory blister to re-appear. It could be a song on the radio, the way someone smells, the sound of a person’s voice, or a late night phone call. The funny thing about these memory blisters is not the outright pain, but how much you miss that pain when it’s gone. It’s almost like a piece of who you are is actually missing and you wouldn’t mind finding it again. You would almost sigh with relief at the familiar old pain.

I’ve no malice toward the cause of the memory blister(s). They are the result of caring and wanting and needing and thinking and praying and they cannot be helped. Every single person you know, unless they are a complete sociopath, is riddled with memory blisters and it’s impossible to know what will cause it to flare up. All it takes is something rubbing that sore spot a little too much until it becomes painful to the touch, to think about, to actualize.

Just like physical blisters, the memory blister does calm down and eventually can become calloused and hard and no amount of irritation will make it flare up again. That’s when we really start to marvel at it. We think about how that act, smell, thought, voice, really used to get to us, but now, it’s power had faded and for some of us it’s like attending a funeral of an estranged friend.

The body heals, the mind sort of heals. I say sort of because it doesn’t really, it just chooses to make a different neurological connection instead of the old familiar pathways near the memory blister. These new pathways are all set to create new memory blisters to cloud reason, good judgment and emotional steadiness.

That blister though seems to hold a slightly masochistic thrill for some of us though. We need that irritation in the memory to remind us that it wasn’t always a blister. It was once a very soft spot and a place we enjoyed going to and it’s missed. It’s missed more than anyone can every really know or be able to explain in a few short sentences on a snowy Friday morning. 

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