Because my hobby is fretting, I know how to dwell on bad shit. If you’ve read here any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that.

I’d like to also learn how to dwell on good shit. The same way I can recall stupid ass crap I did fifteen years ago and paralyze myself with burning shame, I want to be able to recall how it felt when everyone sang me happy birthday at the book launch of The Wolf’s Bane or how good it felt to see the excited faces of the people at the Halloween reading.

In related news, the Butcher and I are rewatching The X-Files, trying to cram nine seasons in before the new mini-series. I don’t know if we’re going to make it.

I was a big fan at the time, though, in saying that, now seeing what fan culture is like, I get that it’s not true. I watched it religiously until I didn’t and then I never, like, bought the DVDs or anything.

So, it’s fun watching shows I haven’t seen in twenty years and seeing what I remember and what I don’t. There’s a LOT I don’t. And what I find the most interesting is that, when watching certain episodes, I’ll find myself panicked upon seeing the villain. So, I KNOW I must have watched that episode and had the piss scared out of me by it, scared enough that just seeing the villain again makes me have a physical response.

But then I won’t remember anything about the particulars of the episode.

I mean, they must be in there some place, because, damn, I can see how The X-Files influences a lot of my writing. But the particulars of an episode are mostly crammed too far back in my mind for me to recall them.

But the bad guys? Even though I haven’t consciously thought about them in years either, the memories of them must sit in a more accessible part of my brain.

My uncle believed that your mind was like a room full of filing cabinets. Everything you ever experienced was in there someplace, though you couldn’t always find it.

I find myself, sometimes, having things come up unbidden. Like, the other day, I was in traffic and I had this strong memory of sitting at my computer in grad school.

I’m not sure why my brain threw that back up at me, but I do find that memories are like the coal fields of Illinois. If you drive south, the coal is at first, very near the surface, and easy enough to get at, and then it plunges way down under you, still there, but not really accessible, and then, when you get far enough south again, it comes back to the surface.

You can map where it sits near the surface up north–Coal City, Carbon Hill, Diamond, Coal Valley–and then again, when it reemerges down south–Carbondale–and you know it’s down there in the middle.

As must be my good things. I just need to figure out how to get them nearer to the surface for when I need them.