i forgot that i tried to join the peace corps

this morning, i woke up and took a glance through an issue of national geographic laying around the house. i read (i actually just looked at the pictures and read the captions) about a tribe of primitive people in peru when all of a sudden, i remembered something from 15 years ago that i had completely forgotten about: i used to want to go to africa and do relief work. you know, help build schools, treat sick people, get some running water to a dust bowl village.

first things first: i can be incredibly dense sometimes but i know that peru is not in africa. it was just something about the living conditions in the pics that sparked that old memory.

anyway, this memory blew me away because i had been pretty serious about accomplishing it. for maybe a year, i looked into and applied to a few peace corps-ish groups but alas, i was 21 or so at the time and was too old to be eligible for any of the programs i was interested in.

i was really bummed it hadn’t worked out because i thought it could have been a powerful, positive experience for me. i imagined i would be a better person for it. and i still think that now — my values haven’t changed in that regard. but somehow, the memory of my efforts to make it happen clouded over or had other memories stacked in front of them, and i totally forgot i had tried to actually do it. i think that’s really weird. what if i hadn’t seen those pictures in national geographic today, would i have ever remembered this stuff? i wonder what other relatively recent memories are hiding in my mind.

i sort of wish i was sure and could say i had all of my memories, but then again, if you don’t know you’re missing something you can’t be upset over it, so i guess the missing ones don’t really matter.

ignorance is bliss.

*edit* just moments after writing this, i remembered a part of my dream from this morning which may have helped spark this memory. in my dream, some pals and i were setting up to record music in some weird place. my pal riley was warming up or practicing something he had written recently or something, and it involved some of the most ethereal, fantastic 80’s synth tones, a long sample of the sound of winds blowing across plains, and ri whispering, “africa…africa,” with inimitable gravitas. i’m sure i don’t need to say it but it was fucking sweet as all hell and obviously the most remarkable part of the dream. so maybe that has something to do with my old memory bubbling up to the surface.


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