Turning back to writing after a weekend away, I decided to continue the orchestra saga by writing of my decision to return. I opened my manuscript file (after accruing a folder of a couple of dozen single story files, I decided to keep them all in one massive file), scrolled down to the end, and typed a working section title: Going Back. I began to type:

I felt miserable that …

I stopped. That week? I’ve forgotten how many days we were at All-State. In fact, I’ve forgotten just when it took place. In fact — I’m not totally sure I rejoined orchestra second semester of my freshman year! HELP! Well, I’m pretty sure.

Fortunately, I don’t have to guess. I have three resources to turn to for help. The first took mere seconds. As fast as I could type New Mexico All-State Orchestra into the search bar, I confirmed that it takes place in January, at least now, and that squares with my memory that it was cold and gray.

The second and third will take a bit more time. I think I know where the brown envelope is that holds my old report cards. That will confirm when I took any given class. Finally, I’ll haul down a box big enough to hold a pair of hiking boots and find all sorts of high school memorabilia, including All-State concert programs for for my sophomore, junior, and senior years.

If I didn’t have those resources, I’d probably just wing it and do the best I could, relying on the symbolic truth of whatever memory I did have. I’m glad I still have tangible evidence for maximum accuracy.

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