January 10: forgetting names

I always used to think that under interrogation I could trick the lie detector by not registering in any part of my anatomy when I tell an untruth. My logic was that the difference between true and untrue is often a foggy zone anyway. Recently, I have had to accept that my body does act against my will at times and does register micro-shifts in anxiety without my permission. This manifests itself, I think, in the business of name remembering when you meet someone unexpectedly in the street. Only when I encounter someone in an unusual context does this distraction afflict me, but I can only assume that it is a momentary anxiety which brings about that loss of memory.

Yesterday in Herne Hill I was passing the house of somebody I know and I thought I’d prepare myself in case I bumped into her in the street. Immediately I couldn’t remember her name. The prospect of anxiety was enough to freeze my recollection. What I then do is construct an elaborate scenario in advance to avoid having to introduce the person I am with to the friend whose name I can’t remember. I could say: I’ll leave you to introduce yourselves to each other (this is a facile and transparent manoeuvre that would be easily seen through). I could just do one half of the introduction (undemocratic). I could introduce them through description alone, as in This is an old friend from school. At least that way you introduce, if not by name. Names are overvalued anyway.

peoplearerubbish.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s