I can't remember if I ever had a specimen of the Naja naja species, or Indian cobra, in front of me. In a zoo for instance.
I can't remember when I first noticed that the complete Blake & Mortimer series had been stolen from my library.
I can't remember when I noticed that the Indonesian bronze, a small and precious statue from late Eighteenth Century depicting a dog, eventually related to the worship of Yama, had been stolen from one of the racks in my workingplace.
I can't remember when I first heard of or read on Georges Perec and his opus magnum La vie mode d'emploi.
I can't remember the colour of my first bike.
I can't remember the list of curriculum vitae related things, which may have had three or even four pages of mostly irrelevant habits and events, such as my first cup of coffee, the discovery of the act of masturbation, my second girlfriend, the year I discovered Nabokov and so on, added to a large collection of typewritten poetry which I send in a rather gloomy mood to a number of local editors. This finally lead to the publication of a half a dozen of poems. They didn't publish the curriculum vitae list, though it may largely have been more interesting than the poetry I had written.
I can't remember at what age I discovered that Santa Claus was nothing else but a handsome fake.
I can't remember the first name of that party playing the drunk neighbour in Everything For The Garden, the first and only theatre play in which I had a major part. And it now seems that I even can't remember the author.
I can't remember the name of the cat we used to have at Tuinstraat 4.(1)
I can't remember my first purchase on boekwinkeltjes.nl. It may have been a Daniël Robberechts or a Robert Walser novel or a Bernhard something maybe.
I can't remember how and when Peter Jacquemyn got introduced to the late evening events at croxhapox art center. I see five possible tracks: (a) Bart Maris introduced Peter Jacquemyn,(2) (b) Merlyn, member of The Singing Painters, at that time still a trio, introduced Peter, (c) Peter introduced himself, (d) Guy Couckhuyt, a coinnaisseur of jazz avant-garde and experimental, mentioned Peter Jacquemyn, (e) any other scenario.(3)
I can't remember when memory began. With that little bird on the pavement, dead and naked, or with that goose tribe at the back of the garden, or a vintage table or a mural maybe?
I can't remember the walk I made late that evening during the opening event of a solo show at El Terral, a joint near Màlaga cathedral. Where you 'v been, Navas asked, as I entered El Terral, far too late to be the featured object. I can't remember what I said. To the seacoast, I may have said. Handmade things covered the place and I guess I wanted to make sure that it would have no other victim but me. How unfortunate to forget the dust of any such sunset.
I can't remember how we got to the barn, the three of us, after a seven day track through the wood on the slopes of Mount Victory, with no other food but rice crackers and muësli and nothing else but the path we had in front of us, crossing the slopes and rivers south of La Push and the wet and future territory filled with female sharks. An Indian took us to the far side of that one river too large to cross without the boat he had. That night the road we took ended in the barn.
I can't remember why I love you, I said, looking at the big toe of my left foot. Then looking at some shadow next to that big toe of my left foot I once again said that I couldn't remember why I loved her. A slow stream of heavy silence filled the room. Then looking at the big toe again I said I didn't know, unaware of anything else but a rather exciting coincidence.
(1) Pussy seems probable. Pronounced as such, and in Dutch language a rather common name for female and male cats, it has no reference to the female genitals but points a diminutive for the species itself.
(2) Bart used to perform quite often at croxhapox since his very first Kamikaze crox-performance in 1996.
(3) Someone told me that the famous A to Z list of animals, mentioning 25 specimen, adding anything else as final reference, has to be contributed to Jorge Luis Borges, who himself attributed it to one or other Chinese poet.