The drive back from Mallory Park lead us very close to my old Uni, so I took Karen for a quick tour of the world which I once inhabited. Firstly I drove her past the house where I had lived three doors down from the fish and chip shop, and then we doubled back and drove onto the campus. I was consumed with nostalgia. I didn’t realise until we walked past a ground floor kitchen that it was five years to the day since my first day there. All the freshers were sat around having their first-night meetings with the resident tutors, like I had done five years ago that day.
Whenever I move house I lose ownership of my memories. I don’t know why this is, but everything that I have ever done seems to have happened to someone else. The images still exist clearly in my mind, but I am no longer the central character. I know that the events took place, and I was surely present, yet not there at all. I guess that it has something to do with environmental triggers. I have been living in my current flat for over a year, and in that time the same thing has happened. Flatmates have come and gone, I’ve switched jobs, I’ve moved the furniture around in the sitting room. All this combines to leave me feeling like a different person to how I did a year ago. Though I definitely remember being there a year ago, my face has been erased from my memory so that I can’t be certain that it was really me in the picture. I have to rely on logic to deduce that it had to be me – it can’t have been anybody else.
But for that half hour, surrounded by the residences and the grass and the trees and the lake and the launderette and the sports centre and the geese, all the memories belonged to me again. It was definitely me. I was there.