"How The Mind Works" Interlude

It’s no secret to those who know me that my memory is (abnormally?) terrible. It’s one of the more remarkable aspects of my personality. But just now, I had a dream which seems to confirm that my subconscious has an much better memory than my conscious mind (I might even dare say it is better than the average conscious memory), but that I don’t have easy access to this memory.

A lot of irrelevant stuff happened in the dream, but towards the end, I was walking east on Maissoneuve, approaching Green street where the are these medium sized apartment buildings. I’ve made this journey several times before. There, I see this bicycle locked against some post, and as far as I can remember, this bicycle was always there. And sitting on the seat of the bicycle, propped against the wall of the building are a couple of textbooks, which again, as far as I can remember, where always there. But today, there are more textbooks, scattered on the sidewalk near the bike. And they seem to be computer science textbooks.

“Is someone throwing these out? Are they free?” I wonder. There’s something like 3 volumes balanced on the bike, and 12 on the floor. In otherwords, a sizeable collection. I open one of them, and there’s some sort of stamp (like you might find in a library-owned book saying “Property of such and such a library”) saying something about how this book is a donation to someone named Samantha (I saw the full name in the dream, but now I can only recall the first name).

I’m torn as what to do, because I love getting free stuff, but I don’t want to steal it, if this still belongs to someone who wants to keep it, but who would keep books strewn on the sidewalk like this, but why do the books on the bike seem so well maintained?

I step into the apartment building, and take out a sheet of paper. I’m still unsure of what my plan was (Find this Samantha on Facebook? Take the books, but leave a note telling her to contact me if she was, in fact, not throwing away the books?) when this when this darked skinned young girl (a student, clearly) came down the stairwell and said something like “I’m sorry, but if you don’t tell me what you’re doing, I’m going to milk you.” rather matter-of-factly.

We stared at each other for a beat, before falling into awkward laughter, and I asked “Is… is it pleasurable?” And she said “No, it’s not pleasurable at all” so I said “Ok, well then I’m a computer science major, and there’s these textbooks outside on the floor…” and I could already see confusion building on her face, so I interrupted myself and added “Maybe it’s easier if we step outside.”

As we do, another girl of a similar age (was this a girl’s dorm?), but Asian, was just coming in, and overhears me talking about the books, and pipes in “Yeah, these were always there!”

“Right,” I add, “for years, even, I think.” and the Asian girl nods enthusiastically, convincing the black girl I had no ill intent.

There’s some chatter which my Asperger’s mind is unable to keep up with. Someone starts asking me a question, and I just realized that a third girl has joined, and now this blonde guy has walked up, and seems to be speaking to me directly. I try to focus on the contents of the question being asked to me, so that I can answer it, but the guy is raises his hand, so I raise my to meet his in a hi-five. I can’t make out what is said and I’m getting lost in the group conversation.

The man is silent now, and slowly, the contents of what he said is reaching my conscious mind.

I realize the guy had referred to something we did last Friday. “Sorry, man, I don’t remember that…” I say to him and he’s clearly disappointed.

The girls are still talking.

Then, I more contents from what the guy said arrive to me. He was saying we had built someone. I look at him, and suddenly, it comes back to me. I was in this apartment building before, and so was he, and someone’s iPhone had broke, and we took little bits of plastic and glitter and glued them together to make a new case.

This was a reference to another dream I had had several months, if not a year ago. I was floored by how my subconscious could have remembered that dream, one that my conscious mind had completely forgotten about, and reinsert him into this new dream.

Of course, one alternative explanation is that this other “year-old” dream is a false memory, generated just now, to make it seem like I had remembered something inconsequential from a long time ago. The memory feels extremely real to me, which is why I’ve put a lot more faith into this idea of an inaccessible subconscious memory, but I have no objective evidence.

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