I have a memory that's been haunting me for as long as I can remember. I was a baby, just old enough to crawl, but holy shit I was good at that. I roamed the house like a maniac, chewing on toys, pulling on the dog's tail, and generally wreaking havoc on everything under a foot tall, until I ran into my grandfather, who picked me up and stopped my amok crawl. It's the most vivid memory I have, and by far the longest continuous one. Basically, it's like an infant version of that Prodigy video.
It's also a complete and utter fabrication.
I was around 1 year old, and kids that young don't really form memories yet. My family didn't live in that house until years later. We didn't have a dog until I was 9, and my grandpa would probably have reflexively kicked me out of the window if he had suddenly seen me coming for him at ankle height. He was by no means a cruel man, I just happened to look like this:
The hoodie was handy for hiding the horns.
I know all this, but it doesn't stop me from having 15 minutes of baby view cam in my head -- and it seems far more real than most of my actual memories.
The weird thing is that pretty much everyone I tell this story to has at least one like it. Not necessarily baby antics, just these big, bullshit memories taking up brain space like it ain't no thing, which is precisely what they are. These weird fakes happen to lots of people, for various reasons, not all of which involve mushrooms.
Shockingly, it's not your memory's fault. It's just that imagination keeps sneaking into memory's office to randomly doodle dicks all over its papers.
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Imagination: The worst co-worker.
This is a memory phenomenon called imagination inflation, and it's exactly what you think: It embellishes the stuff we remember, leading to vivid but inaccurate memories. Imagination can randomly pad up and even completely fabricate details of any event, to the point where any individual memory -- no matter how clearly you remember it -- might be complete and utter horseshit, constructed by your brain just because it got its wires tangled yet again.
As powerful as it may seem, at the end of the day the brain is just a few pounds of moist molecules trying to cope with the entire goddamn universe. We're not trying to play GTA V with a VIC-20 here -- we're tackling GTA MCMLXVI with a pound of gazelle testicles for hardware.
So maybe it's best to let the brain take its shortcuts. The poor thing is trying its best.