He Doesn’t Register

…you are engaged in remembering someone engaged in forgetting. If I remember and you forget, then I wonder if my remembering is correct. Will she wonder if her forgetting is correct? Or will she forget whether she forgot?

I bet she shrugged it off, and has forgotten.

Had a client who turned out to be related to someone I knew during undergraduate university days. During the casual intimacy of the times, spent the better part of a fall, on and off, at least sometimes, with her. Was very impressed to have a client with association. Asked client to express my best to her, now living for many years in another city. Had some idea of at least electronic reconnection, how have you been, what’s your family, how does it feel to reconnect with someone before all of this. No great romance, but someone whom I remembered with fondness. She went on to the major boyfriend who became her husband, as I found out from the client, while I went on to more of the same. I remember, I remember.

Saw client again recently, in relation to follow-up matter. Asked about her relative, hoping for postives and possibly an e-mail address.

Client says: She doesn’t remember you. No recollection at all. You don’t register. Maybe her memory is going, with age.

Me: Or maybe she just doesn’t remember.

Reminds me of the later scenes in Mike Leigh’s Career Girls, where they meet the blast from the past, now suit and tie, who wonders who they are.

Here is the film’s climax, relating to someone who remembers and doesn’t remember, for different reasons:

Here they are, six years earlier, instead of forty:

Misperceived significance. Believe I can’t forget anyone I have been in any way close to, though maybe that is no longer the norm. Maybe never was the norm, for me or anyone else. Maybe never was that close.
———————————
Postscript, November 17, 2015: As YouTube videos come and go. Still, the mood of Career Girls may be seen from a trailer:

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
This entry was posted in Ottawa Reflections, Relationships, Toronto Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to He Doesn’t Register

  1. According to Kierkegaard, the majority of people repress their individuality and particularity, in order to be fully accepted by those they most want to be with, in solidarity. As a result, they wouldn’t remember the stuff that didn’t fit, like you. Maybe her husband was her first serious boyfriend. Maybe that was required, since it seems important to some.

    It must be nice not to remember one’s iniquities. Certainly one could feel better about oneself, knowing one was blameless and entirely as one saw oneself. Your story is a bit like a scene from a Haruki Murakami novel.

  2. On August 21, 2011, in a separate e-mail communication, Neil Abramson commented further (e-mail extract reproduced with permission):

    If you remembered, you would always have to guard your speech when recollecting, but if you forgot, then no problem.

    However, according to Jung, repressed memories come out in projections, under strong stress, and severe illness, and on drugs. So you might be forgotten, but not necessarily gone without a trace.

    The irony in the subtext is that you are engaged in remembering someone engaged in forgetting. If I remember and you forget, then I wonder if my remembering is correct. Will she wonder if her forgetting is correct? Or will she forget whether she forgot?

    I bet she shrugged it off, and has forgotten.

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