They say once you learn to ride a bicycle you never forget. In my experience that is true. I only learned to ride a bicycle once and I can still do it. However, they also say elephants never forget, but I have yet to see an elephant ride a bicycle. So someone is lying.
Our brains work mysteriously. There are things we try to forget yet stay in the forefront of our minds. There are moments from our childhood we have forgotten that a photograph or a well trained hypnotist can unleash. There are the details we try to remember that never stay in our head.
Then there are the pastimes we have learned that we allowed to atrophy. I recently tried to reminisce with a couple skills I picked up in the past. My guitar which I had spent many lonely days with was now a stranger. Those lyrics and chord changes I once knew vanished. I should have written them down, but I figured I’d never forget words as poignant as
It was kiss kiss bang bang
as he tried to
get her into bed.
And I guess I didn’t forget, but I can’t remember the next verse.
Returning to the basketball court has been much worse. I figured muscle memory would never disappear, but whereas my anticipation of what an opponent might do is sharper than it was in my youth, my jump shot has disappeared. I am doing something wrong, I feel the wrongness in every attempt, but I can’t remember how to get it right.