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John Palcewski's Journal

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Film? What's That?

You know how memories are. They come and go. A succession of unrelated colorful fragments. They’re triggered by virtually anything. Like the odd swirl of brown and white of cappuccino. Or the scent of an Italian cheroot. I thought of Ed Hart, my photo editor at UPI, a long time ago in New York, when cameras used what they called film.

“Still mooning about what’s-her-name?” Ed said.
“I’m trying hard to get over her,” I replied
“Bullshit. You never let anything go.”

Ed deftly clipped off a five-frame section of a 35-mm filmstrip and inserted it into a negative scanner. On the monitor president Bill Clinton, grinning and waving at the door of his limo, appeared on the screen. Ed tapped out a caption, reading from a Reuter’s dispatch that had just come in.

“Take it from someone even older than you,” Ed said, not looking up. “Life is learning to dance.”
“I think I’d like to sit this one out.”
“I didn’t finish, smartass. At the end you finally learn to dance—alone.”

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ed was right, i think. there's a lesson there for me. thank you.

Odor is the most powerful memory trigger according to some. What bothers me most is when the trigger goes off, but my brain can't find the attached memory and I'm sitting there smelling something and feeling like I really should be remembering something as well.

This happened to me about 10 times last night as I was moving stuff out of my old apartment, because each time I walked into or out of the door of the building I had to pass an open bathroom window which was emitting the smell of some feminine hair product which triggered me.

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