What Is Real?

One of my latest obsessions has been Googling items from my childhood. It’s stuff from television shows or random CD=Roms, ones that my dad would pick up for us from computer stores. (Remember those? they

Sometimes it annoys people when I tell them. They are amused by my obsession, but question why I go for trusty Google for obscure results.

“What does it matter?” they ask.

“I want to know what’s real,” I respond.

It’s something that I learned growing up, that memory is unreliable. You may remember a certain event one way, and your brother may remember it the other way. I claim my brother and sister tried to get me to read a series that I didn’t want to; this conversation was about ten years ago; and they thought I had made it up. Even when I showed the book was real, they said that it wasn’t them.

Television shorts and videos are the latest thing. There are some short stories and novels, an out-of-print folktale about a sage that could summon gems from the stars. Wikipedia has shown me that some Russian cartoons can provide answers for the obscurity. I found a bootleg of The Twelve Months that talked about the importance of the seasons in their time, and hope to find an opera version.

I like knowing things are real. It means I know when to trust myself when I make them up for fiction, or when I have not manufactured nostalgia.