I have always talked to myself and never found that answering myself created a problem. Considering that fact along with some other recent developments, I believe that I have determined the source of the voices in my head. They are the memory runners.

As of late it seems that they are on either an extended break or a collaborative sit-in. It isn’t all the time, but often enough and at the most inopportune moment. Most of my life, recall has been instantaneous. Now, I submit a request for a memory and it never shows up or when it does arrive, it’s 2:00 am and my other functions are shut down for the night. I don’t want to remove the memory or displace the memory; I just want a copy of it to transmit to an output area, like my vocal cords so I can speak it or to my fingers so I can write it down. Sometimes I just want it so I can discuss it in my conversation with myself.

Some people comment about their memory being like a steel trap; rusted shut. My memory is fine. When I find the memory runners on break, I think, “I’ll just go get it myself.” Problem is I don’t know where they stored it. Stuff is scattered everywhere with no rhyme or reason to the filing system. At least none that I can determine. Meanwhile, they just sit around quietly drinking their coffee or whatever it is they have in those cups, urging me to come back, sit down, shoot the breeze, and tell some stories. I am aware that they have seen all the memories and know all the stories.

It isn’t even determined by the degree of difficulty. Requesting information on a person’s name can cause as much internal strife as requesting a memory on how to perform a Laplace Transform. Look it up and you will understand the confusion! Most people forgot how to perform a Laplace Transform as soon as they felt it was no longer needed, which was immediately after finals.

I don’t even believe that the runners are trying to embarrass me even though a lot of the failures leave me stumbling around mid-sentence with people waiting on the content. I get the impression that the runners are saying, “We’ve been doing this faithfully for quite a while now, it was alright when we left it. Sit for a bit and chill out. You’ll like it!” But not I! No! I need to get that memory and move on to the next item.

Other times I know that they have retrieved the memory and are hanging on to it. Taunting me, dangling it just out of reach, watching me squirm as it swings in the breeze avoiding my focus and denying me the entire content. It is on those occasions that I believe that I can distract them. Like taking a fresh-caught salmon from a grizzly by saying, “Hey, look an eagle!”

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions. He writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On, for both The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser.