Public Restrooms

My mom is not going to like this story.

I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, I have a question: What is your earliest memory? Before you answer, here is what some people have said:

“The day my baby brother died of SIDS. I was three.”

“Breaking my arm while dancing with my sister. I was about two.”

“Watching my birthday balloon float away. I was three.”

“Swallowing a small toy at age four. It came out naturally.”

“Riding a train as an 18-month-old with my mother. The seats were red and lumpy.”

I don’t recall my earliest memory, but when I was about four years old, I do remember using a department store restroom — which was located near the shipping area behind the building. It had no working lights and no windows, so when the only door to enter and exit suddenly slammed shut, I was in total darkness.

And I screamed!

In the seconds that it took my mother to reach me, the memory had been permanently lodged into my prefrontal cortex.

She says she still remembers the sound of my voice.

Singer, Barbra Streisand, says, “What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.”

Easy for her to say.


Thankfully, people recall early and fond memories as well:

“Learning how to whistle.”

“Singing around the piano.”

“Building a snowman with my dad.”

And …

“Hearing the church bells calling the faithful to pray.”

Amen to that!

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