Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.

the fog

I was just thinking, I don't know why, that if they invented a memory-killing pill, I bet a lot of people would use it. Like, say they sell this stuff, Memgone, over the counter and I watch Dog Soldiers on SciFi and then think, "Damn, I wish I'd seen that on DVD." I could write a note to myself, "Rent 'Dog Soldiers' on DVD," and then take a two-hour dose and erase the experience from my mind, so that when I saw it again, it'd be like the first time.

Or I could take an 8-hour dose after a shitty day, and it'd be better for me than, say, drinking.

The limitation is, you couldn't erase stuff from the distant past, like someone's death or the traumatizing spider event you had as a child. You could only erase stuff right after it happened, and so the drug would be prone to abuse, because if something happens that you want to forget, your judgment is at its weakest then--and you don't know if it's something that, integrated into your memories and personality, will make you a better stronger person, or if it's simply something to let go.

What if, every time you got a piece of negative criticism and doubted yourself, you could erase that doubt as efficiently as deleting an e-mail? And thereby keep your confidence at unprecedented levels.

But the recreational aspect is the most striking--the idea that you could reread Harry Potter, for instance, and it'd be like the first time. Or see fantastic movies over and over and feel the same jolts of surprise. Of course, after a while, you would want to move on, stop forgetting, so that your rereadings and rewatchings would layer over one another, to build up iteratively so that we'd get more and more out of each experience.

Besides, erasing your memory isn't as fun if you can't reverse it later. Like, you rewatch the same movie five times fresh--but in some ways it really is just like watching it once, which makes it kind of pointless, and it'd be cooler if you could regain your memories so that they suddenly stack up and cohere and integrate themselves back into your experience.

But still--I'm see-sawing back and forth here--each time you watched it would be a different day, different context. You could have that anticipation of wanting to see the new X-Men movie, and then reward yourself with it on an especially crappy day. You'd get that peerless thrill of novelty and virginal joy just when you need it most. And you could have that again and again.

I'd take a pill after every great movie, every great piece of fan-fiction, and I'd keep a list. Because like Leonard in Memento, you'd have to be able to remind yourself of what you've forgotten.

I think if you took it and stayed awake, your memory would begin to fog at the edges and slip away without your noticing--you'd always try to track the moment when it happened, of course, but it would slip out of your grasp. Like trying to nail down the moment when you fall asleep, it's something you're never quite able to catch. It's the same type of thing--the fuzzy border between memory and forgetting, consciousness and sleep.

Hmm. To pancakes or not to pancakes?

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