Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sympathetic Nervous System

I remember the day clear as sky. But giving way to the opinion of Barbara Kingsolver (specifically of her book Animal Dreams) on memory, one that I cheer in agreement to- memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth but not its twin; I will say that clear as sky as it may be, gray clouds do scatter over like their god-given birth right to do.

We were 14. We were in the science lab. It was biology lesson. Nervous system, subtopic- spinal reflex. We sat at the back- not example students, just regular teenagers. Although, we were trying to study the subject and not giggle about the cutest boy in school or the latest boy band or glitter nailpolish. Only we were doing so in a non-traditional way, with much noise- much laughing noise. How we used to laugh and be carelessly happy. And how I smiled and laughed more back then. Good times!

I'll tell you what we were doing. Or what you were making us do. We were outsmarting the boring lengthy paragraphs of the text book. We were processing those words in imaginery video before putting it away for storage versus our classmates' usual take of swallowing the letters whole.

You hit me mildly in the arm and then began narrating the journey of that sensation via the afferent nerve, to the cerebral cortex, down the efferent nerve and finally into the muscle of my arm to produce a reflex which under the particular circumstance happened to be a reply of an equally gentle slap to your arm. True, nothing excitingly laughable about that- it's mere picturing words from the text book. What excites was the fact that you made the impulse travel in a VW Bug (I can't recall what color; probably blue). If my memory does not suffer from lapses as I do not suspect it does, you provided the soundtrack to your little documentary as well. I went along with the narration, editing here and there. We had ourselves a learning experience we both thoroughly enjoyed.

If the teacher should argue that the sensation you delivered to my nervous system was not one that would provoke a reflex as opposed to perhaps accidentally touching a hot kettle or stepping on a piece of broken glass; we would politely answer: well, of course, but we wouldn't want to hurt each other in the name of science!

Our brain, the funny little girl she is, scans through events and numbers their priority in our memory box at her ease, without consulting us. Therefore, I may well be made by my cerebrum to amplify this moment such that compares to the clearness of the sky, while you may only have the vision of a hazy day. It does not make me better at remembering, it is only that I got hit first- the very nature of human that we never easily forget the deeds done upon us. One who receives remembers more than one who gives.

I shared so many precious moments with you those few years we spent together in school. When I think back on the best memories, they never fail to lighten me up.

For the 23-year-old struggling young adults that we are today, I am thankful and glad for the two 14-year-old bestfriends that we still are. I hope we will always be. The distance does not matter.

My friend Hana, for everything that you are, I love you too! =)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're so sweet! thankyouuuuuuuuuuu

and yes ofcourse we will ALWAYS be bestfriends, amy.

love love,

6:42 PM  

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