It seemed normal enough. Morning had broken and in my groggy state I was aware that my fitbit was vibrating, silently telling me that it was time to get out of bed. I thought, “It must be 7, since that’s what my weekend alarm is set for.” I rolled over and saw that the clock radio was dutifully telling me the same thing. I switched it off, noticing that it said “Pete” on the display. Well, I thought, that makes sense. The song that it was playing was something that my friend, Pete, used to play. I rose to my feet and searched for my eyeglasses, at which point the dog, hearing me up and mobile, came bounding down the hall, knowing that breakfast was soon to follow. As I poured her food in her bowl, she waited patiently nearby with her eyes fixed on me, drool dripping from her jowls. “Release” I told her, and she eagerly leapt to her bowl, devouring breakfast so quickly I always wonder if she even tastes it.
It was only at this point I realized that:
- I wasn’t wearing my fitbit. It was charging overnight.
- Even if I had been wearing it, I don’t have any alarms set on it.
- I don’t have any alarms set on my clock radio either.
- The clock radio doesn’t have a text display, so it couldn’t say “Pete”.
- I had slept on the couch, nowhere near my clock radio.
- Everything had seemed normal up to that point, until I realized that none of it was possible.
- It had all happened at exactly 6:00am sharp, not 7:00am as I had thought.
So, I ask you, what does all this mean? It had all made perfect, logical sense in my mind up until that point, but none of the details were correct. I had indeed awoken and fed the dog her breakfast. That much was true, but there were no alarms, the time was wrong, my brain had somehow melded my clock radio alarm with the swiping motion and display of dismissing the alarm on my phone. Can we really trust our memories?