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|The Non-Remembrance of Things Past - Page 11|
Do you remember how, once upon a time, when something upsetting occurred—a fuckup at work, a fight with your girlfriend—misery would inhabit every cell in your body and eat away at you like acid through flesh, as you brooded incessantly over what you'd said, what she'd said, what the boss had said, what you should have said, how you were inevitably in the right, how this must be fixed, how this can't be fixed, how that can't be said—to the point that your life consisted of nothing but the problem? And how life-sapping misery continued to eat away at you until the fuckup was fixed, the relationship restored, no matter how long any of that might take?
When something like that happens today, you start off feeling just as miserable, but then, sooner than you once could ever have imagined, you notice your body is unflexing, and that, soon enough, you're not feeling quite so miserable. Thank your failing memory for that. The emotional horror, and even the details of what set you off—what were we arguing about, again, honey?—vaporize. Worries and fears that formerly seemed to take up all the space in your brain now resemble bullets in a PowerPoint presentation—nothing more, mere bullet points—stripped of emotion, with no text or extra slides to back them up.
That's an "Upside"? Isn't There Some More Positive Way of Looking at This Whole Thing Without Sounding Like a Sleepwalking Zombie?
You try to think positively about yourself and put a Zen spin on the problem: the reason you have no memory is that memory is . . . irrelevant. You're totally in the moment, neither living in the past nor fretting about the future. No, you live only in The Present, The Now, which, as we all know, is all there really is. You're swimming in existence as existence washes over you—you're immersed in it—and if tomorrow you find yourself unable to remember today, that'll be the case only because tomorrow you'll be too busy splashing around in tomorrow's present moments to remember today.
But that's all bullshit and you know it. You're no more living in The Now than you ever did, and, besides, you used to have a pretty damn good memory. (At least a serviceable one.) Once upon a time, if you looked hard enough for something, you'd find it, because something was there. Now there's less and less to locate, and once found, images sail off too quickly for you to catch them.
(Hey, wait a second. Wasn't this part supposed to be "positive"?)