My friend Luke told me a story the other day about something really mean I said once, in an elevator a long time ago, to another guy we were with. I have no recollection of it and it hardly seems like something I would say, but Luke has no reason to lie and he seems to remember it very clearly, and was in fact incredulous that I had no recognition.
I can vaguely remember the rattle of the old elevator in midtown and that it was crowded with just the three of us in it and the linoleum on the floor and the accordion gate, and even actually the smell of oil in gears and their grinding and the noises from the printing press coming from the floor above. (We were on our way to the printers, to proof postcards.) And in picturing the third guy standing there with us, I strongly recall all the things I still dislike about him and think, well he kind of had it coming. But I can't remember saying it, and I sort of wish I did.
What I remember about him was what started the conversation to begin with. I remember that this guy was really mean to me, and hurt my feelings and my pride. Luke countered with this story, saying that I gave as good as I got, maybe worse even. And it's a better version, in the end. In my version I was helplessly hurt, and in this one, I stood up for myself. Maybe I was a little mean, but hey the world's a tough place and believe me he had it coming. (I might not remember what I said or why, but trust me, he deserved it.)
I've been bookmarking insomnia articles when I can't sleep. One was about a recent study about how you can't regain sleep you've lost, which I've read before. I've never had any luck myself in catching up. Another talks about a theory that sleep helps us organize memories and make sense of emotional interactions:
...Researchers increasingly are focused on the role sleep plays in stabilizing and consolidating memories. Recent studies appear to catch the process of memory integration in action, and they hint at a neural nightlife that is richer than previously known. The sleeping brain not only sorts important facts from trivia, the findings suggest, but it also replays social interactions and carefully shades experiences with emotional color so they will be more comprehensible.
That's from an article in the NYT, The Necessity, and Elusiveness, of Sleep. Something to sleep on, if I can. Which I haven't been able to do thus far.