The funny thing about memory
I remember yellow butterflies that covered my bedroom walls. My favorite dress had a long white eillet skirt with plump strawberries that bordered the hem. Each day I would place a disc on my record player and watch in wonder as a series of scenes played across the front panel of the box.
I was 4.
Years later, pale pink paint replaced my legion of butterflies in a bedroom of a new house. I was rummaging through the attic and noticed an oversized cardboard box in a corner. Moments later, I lifted a plastic case out from a tangle of disgarded toys.
The cover slid off easily. I gazed down on the familiar knobs. My fingers closed around one of the brightly colored discs. It was thicker than I remembered. I cranked up the machine and waited for the magic box to mysteriously play the images described in the song.
But something was wrong. This couldn’t be my player. The same scene scrolled across the front of the case, repeating over and over regardless of the disc. I distinctly recalled my delight as the machine would conjure new episodes for each new song.
I was 11.
Sitting crosslegged in that dim space, I swallowed hard on disappointment. I suddenly understood that the two players were one and the same. I couldn’t help wishing I’d never discovered the truth. My memory was so much better than the reality.
From that day on, I was aware that my recollections weren’t always true. The enchanted universe I grew up in was different from the one I presently inhabited.
The world lost a little bit of its magic that afternoon.