I lived in the same house in Mt. Vernon, Indiana from 1981 to 1997, until I was 17 years old.
I read The Handmaid’s Tale on my Kindle, which I received as a Christmas gift from Dan sometime around 2011. The book still lives on the device along with all of the other ebooks I’ve read.
Yet I have a vivid memory—something I see very clearly in my mind’s eye—of reading The Handmaid’s Tale on my Kindle in my bedroom in Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
I want to know how this is possible. Did radiation fry some important bits in my temporal lobe? Did chemo short out some neurons? Can I time travel?
Memory is so fickle. I have vivid memories of scenes from my son’s brain tumor saga that I’m writing about. I remember things happening one way, then I look through my box of “research” – appointment receipts, work calendars, etc, and find that it could not have happened the way I remember, or when. With a damaged brain like yours, I would think the fickleness is even more likely.
This is the way our brains work. Our memories are nothing but a narrative of our experiences written by our brain, and are being rewritten, edited, amended, and modified continuously. Studies have shown that people’s memories can vary significantly from actual events within as little as a few hours.