I just walked out of the apartment and ran into my super on the sidewalk. He looked at me, confused, like I was some kind of puzzle he couldn’t figure out.
“Do you remember what happened?”
I nodded because I knew what he was talking about, not because I remembered.
He, like the others, had seen me turn into a different person a few weeks ago. A manic person who, in a state of psychosis, believed I was privy to some kind of governmental conspiracy. A person who got into an ambulance and asked the driver for his gun. A person who, once hospitalized, punched nurses and threw furniture and screamed at everyone.
“I was sick,” I told him. “I have bipolar disorder.”
“Oh,” he said. “You really scared me. I was holding a package and you were grabbing it from me, telling me it was yours.”
“I’m sorry,” I said.
He shook his head and dismissed the apology as not needed.
“Are you OK now?”
I told him that I was. I thanked him. I turned the corner.
And then, as I was walking down Broadway, I thought about how lucky we are that there are some things our minds won’t let us remember. At least for now, my mind is protecting me by forgetting. It’s called motivated forgetting. Critics say that this kind of repression may not be healthy. I’m not sure I care.
Right now, I am feeling blessed to have an illness that can be treated by Lithium.
And right now, I’m blessed to have forgotten.