The Memory Project
Off the top of my head, natural (Johnny Ketchum)

Live Memories
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Some days, you know you're living a memory. Those are the days that I encourage students to record in journals, as factually as possible, the events of their lives. Last week, I had one of those days, and this is what I wrote under the title, How to Make a Memory. (Hence, the use of the imperative throughout. It's kind of crappy, but it's what I wrote. I blame the excessive coverage of the Rielle Hunter-Jay McInerney connection.)

Drive south of Kona, Hawaii, to a recommended snorkeling spot. Get a late start. Get a little lost here and there. Stop for a Diet Pepsi at a place called L&L Barbecue Inn (cq). Pine for a T-shirt. Arrive at snorkeling place. Plunge in. Find it amazing, even though it is mid-day and a little crowded. "Crowded" being defined as maybe a dozen other people snorkeling. Take a break, eat a bite of the worst banana bread in the world, plunge in again. When you’re really fatigued, start heading in, just in time to see a giant tortoise swim past you. Bang your knee against the rocks while retrieving an errant flipper, say a horrible word, audible to many small children. You are now bleeding, but not sunburned, a kind of triumph. Also, it is the second time in three weeks you have skinned your left knee. What are you, a five-year-old? Worse, you're a five-year-old with a potty mouth.

Head back to hotel, contemplating eating options for three people who are soaking wet and essentially, pants-less. Stop at a bakery/pizza place, get three slices. Provoke lively argument about the quality of the pizza, which you find extraordinary. Others in party contend you are too hungry to function as a good judge. Counter that NOT eating crappy banana bread might mean that your palate is, in fact, less corrupted. Notice the bakery has a sign that says “beignets around the world,” giving the various names in various cultures for fried dough dipped in powdered sugar. It is your Rosetta Stone! Ask the nice lady at the bakery if she has any hot masaladas. She says, “I can give you that little cold one for 75 cents or I can give you this bag of five hot ones for $3.50.” Say, “Funny, you don’t look like Satan.” Another person in your group asks: "How do you get that baseball cap over your horns?" Take the five. It is a 25 cents savings, after all. Go across the road where Tropical Ice Cream, highly touted by your guidebook, is sold. Understand that you are not just eating ice cream for yourself but for countless others who will need your advice. Your party of three manages to try coconut cream, chocolate coconut macadmian nut, kona coffee and white ginger. Some undisciplined people use pieces of masalada to scoop up ice cream. Kona coffee is the clear winner, with white ginger judged to be more interesting than flat-out delicious.

Arrive back at the hotel, take greatest shower of your life to date. Wish the cut on your knee were deeper, capable of forming a small but interesting scar. Then you would have a souvenir of a perfect day.

(Anyone else want to assemble the ingredients for a memory? Irritating use of second person not required.)

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