VAGARIES OF MEMORY
This is the song I remember was playing when I learned of Ian Curtis’s death. It is a clear memory. No distinguishing memory to cut across it… Yet when this single was released, Ian Curtis had been dead for three years. The rest of my memories of that day are accurate, it was 1980, I was in flagranti with a beautiful married chamber maid, whose husband was away on the oil rigs in Aberdeen, and I was distraught. Stuck in a loveless engagement, soon to become a 30 year loveless marriage… But no. that is not right either, the delectable chambermaid had been in 1981, and the connection with Ian Curtis was her surname.
So my perfect memory is three times wrong, wrong song, wrong year, and wrong reason to remember.
Yet the memory persists. Its perfect symmetry suits my logical mind. Will I remember that the memory is absolutely fake the next time I hear the song?
No, I will instantly remember the beautiful girl and my beautiful perfect body, and the sang-froi of loss and longing in the song, the memory and the loss of a hero.
Our minds prefer the perfect image to the truth, a bit like the media.