Whether or not you’ve spent any time thinking about your memoirs, I’m pretty sure you’ve spent time thinking about your memories. A biography is an organized set of memories. But, personal memories don’t need to start off in any organized way. They may also need the eyes, ears and hands of others to organize them.
As I drove around today I had an idea about just capturing my memories and sharing them, however they formed. Later, I or someone else, may try to see what is there to be organized. First, let me try to capture some.
Soon after this idea came to me, I remembered the day I got a new bike for my birthday–the first such present. The exact date didn’t come to me right away, but I was probably around 11. The bike was royal and light blue, and had a curved crossbar. In those days, let’s call it 1966, helmets were on no child’s head and their need in no one’s mind.
I raced up and down our street showing off my bike to my friends. Of course, they wanted to try it. I think I let them, but maybe I was afraid to or only do so if they rode slowly and did nothing risky, in case the bike was scratched or damaged.
But, I rode wildly along the narrow street, which back then had very few cars, and those were parked on the street. Then, I had my disaster. Either the door of one parked car was opened suddenly or I just lost focus and slammed into a parked car, flying over my brand new handlebars and hitting the road with an almighty thump. My hands and bottom were bruised and so was my ego. I know I cried, from shame at least. My front wheel was buckled, the handlebars were twisted, and the paint was scratched. Despair that the shiny newness was gone so soon.
I cannot remember my friends’ reactions. I think my father said something like “Easy come, easy go.”