Sunday, November 4, 2012

Memory as Media

by Drew Martin
I have written several times before about dreams as media and about media as memory but I have never written about memory as media. All of us remember moments of our past several times a day and it is with great fondness that we recall pleasant memories, but I am not sure many people access their memory the same way one might engage with an iPod or website.

My house lost power today so I went to get some ice from the store. On the way there I stopped by the post office, plugged in my phone and computer, and twiddled my thumbs as I waited for these devices to charge. There was that first reaction; to wish I had brought a magazine or book to pass the time but then I settled back in the folding chair and thought about my memories of the post office.

My first memory of the post office was when I was with my mom as a kid. I could not see over the counter and was very frustrated by this so I asked her to pick me up, and she did. I was amazed by the depth and the activity of the place. My other great memory is from a time when I worked at a farm stand in California. I closed up at sunset and then would ride my bike a dozen miles into the mountains to where I was staying. I would stop by my P.O. box in Santa Barbara and grab my mail on the way home. It was a solitary time and it was always dark out when I went to the post office after hours; nobody was ever there. At that time I had a cartoon strip running in the fledgling The Stranger out of Seattle so I was always delighted when I found the latest issue stuffed in my box. I would put it in my bag, ride up into the Santa Ynez mountains in darkness and curl up in my little bed and read it as I fell asleep.