The weirdest memory I have isn’t even that weird. The weird thing about it isn’t the memory itself. The weird thing about it is why I have it. Or, why I still have it.
I’m eleven years old. I’m sitting in the back seat of my parents’ Toyota Carina. I remember reading the Toyota logo in the window, forwards and backwards. I didn’t know what a palindrome was back then, (I didn’t know the word “palindrome”, in any case) but if I did, I probably would’ve concluded to myself a couple of times that “Toyota” wasn’t one. Every time we drove somewhere in that car, I would try to force the word “Toyota” to be a palindrome, as if reading it enough times would make the “a” at the end go away. It never did, though.
Anyway, back to the memory. We’re on our way home from somewhere. I actually don’t remember from where or what, but I remember the road we’re driving on. It’s a long straight road with small fields and forests on either side. A single tree here and there, looking as if trying to get away from the forest and stretch itself on the open fields. Probably a lot less competition for sunlight out in the fields. If you take a turn from the long straight road, you’ll end up at one of my friends’ house. They have a big farm with an entire forest surrounding it. I probably remember it being bigger than it actually is, we used to play a lot in the forest and on their farm.
Right, sorry - back to the memory. It’s a sunny day. Not a particularly warm day, but then again, sunny days in Denmark is not necessarily a promise of a hot day. It usually just means clear skies, which is also nice. The long straight road leads to the town where I grew up, the town where my parents live. But as of this moment, this memory, if we freeze time right here, I’m eleven years old, - probably almost exactly - and I’m in the back seat of my parents’ Toyota Carina, trying once again to make a palindrome out of “Toyota”. Like I said, it’s not really a weird moment or a weird memory per se. It’s actually excruciatingly ordinary. Very plain and boring, if you ask me. I wish I had such specific memories of wilder moments of my childhood, but this one keeps coming back to me - because I decided that it would.
At that moment, for no reason whatsoever, I decided that I would freeze this moment and store it in my mind - I’d never forget it. Like I was saving a file onto my own hard drive. I simply took a screen shot of my life. And I have no idea why - to see if I could, maybe? Memories fade, and maybe I wanted to see if it was possible to simply decide to keep a memory? Even a memory as ordinary and dull as this one? And here, today, almost ten years later, that exact moment is still clear as day to me. Because for some reason, I just decided to keep a completely random memory with me, so that even if I forget my entire childhood, I’ll still remember that at least I was eleven at one point.