The Keeper of Memories
Alternative title: Should I burn my diaries in case I get hit by a bus?
“This is my Auntie Amber,” my 21-year-old nephew told his new girlfriend when he introduced us a few months ago. “If you want to know anything about my life, she’s the person to ask.”
My nephew lives in Kent. I live in Scotland. We see him once or twice a year, at most. I have not — and I feel like it’s very important that I make this clear from the get-go — been stalking him, or otherwise obsessing over the events of his life to date. And, as it happens, he was wrong. I couldn’t tell you anything you wanted to know about his life — just what I was wearing for those parts of it I was present for, and who else was there at the time.
It would be true to say, however, that I am the person my extended family turns to when they want to remember what year it was that George got married, say, or whether Keith finally got kicked out of the house* in 2015 or 2016**.
(**December 29th, 2015.)
I can always be relied upon to know these things. It is, you could say, my Totally Useless Superpower (And also the reason I still get invited to family events, basically. Because, let’s face it, it’s not my sparkling personality or charisma, is it?), although the truth is, it’s actually a Very Ordinary and Not-At-All-Super Power in that I don’t just magically remember when things happened, and what the exact sequence of events was. It’s not some mysterious feat of memory: it’s just an entirely foreseeable consequence of the fact that I write everything down, and I always have.