When my brother was in the hospital many years ago for surgery, I stayed there for a few nights. This was probably seven or eight years ago, so it’s not the most vivid memory I have. But I do remember some things pretty well. I remember sleeping on the floor, under a coffee table. I remember eating the crappy hospital food. But the most vivid memory I have is meeting and befriending this kid who came in with internal bleeding.
We hung out around the hospital and played video games. He had a PS2 in his room. He was a few years older than me, but he was really nice. He’d been there for well over a month. If I remember correctly, he told me he’d fallen off monkey bars at a playground, was told that he was fine by the school nurse, and then ended up in the hospital. He said he’d probably be there for a few more weeks. I really never knew what was wrong with him, aside from the internal bleeding, of course, but now I realize it was probably more complex than that given the length of his stay at the hospital. But at the time, I was too young to understand that.
After my brother got out of the hospital, I never saw or heard from the kid again. I don’t even remember his name. I haven’t thought about him for years. And suddenly, I have all these memories from years ago rushing to the surface— all because of a couple of tweets.
Human memory is a strange thing.