Perhaps you read about me in the latest issue of Wired Magazine where I explained my supermemo memory system. Well, improving memory isn’t my only passion, I also love literature. In fact, this site is where my two passions dovetail into something wholly unique.

    Over the past one hundred days I’ve been introducing myself each day as someone completely different who presents a story which he or she claims to have written. The reason why I’ve busied myself with what appears to be a fools game of a 100 Masks is that each introduction and accompanying story is an ornately detailed mnemonic that symbolically holds all the important details of the day.

   For example, when I claimed to be Tom Cruise, on January 16th,  I was traveling by boat (cruising) with a group of friends. Each word in the introduction is code for some event through the day. Downloading my supermemo memory system will explain how it all works. 

    Does it sound a little crazy? Maybe. 

    Does it work? 

    Definitely.

    Or my name isn’t Tom Cruise, I mean JK Rowling, I mean Troy Craig I mean Piotr Wozniak.

    See I have a sense of humor.

    Today’s story, on the other hand, is a little on the sadder side of things.

    A stab at something beautiful.

 

Memory Slips Like Soap 

 

     I’m suspicious of that bar of soap on the edge of the tub. It seems to be in a different location from where I last laid it. I think it moved of its own volition through the night. I’m sure that sounds crazy but what other sane conclusion can I draw? I live alone and nobody has a key to my flat. Ergo, either something is wrong with my soap or something is tremendously wrong with me and as I pride myself on never forgetting anything I think it’s clear: I’ve been washing myself with a half sentient bar of soap these past two weeks and now it’s trying to escape.

     I mean wouldn’t you?

     I’m not saying I have a grotesque body or hideous features, I’m considered quite handsome by some. Well it was said once. My wife said I was handsome once, just after we met for the first time in a trigonometry class in university. We were three months into the semester and friendly chit-chat had given way to pure mathematics. It was after class and I was at her desk, bent over her notes in great concentration, trying to get hold of the answer. She whispered that I was handsome but I didn’t let on that I had heard her. I let her believe that my singular mind had blocked everything but numbers out of my head. In fact I had glanced at her cleavage twice. 

   She was beautiful. A picture of her is held in the back of my mind. I’m not suspicious of that picture for it’s a perfect replica of what she was. I have an excellent visual memory that holds millions of faces and formulas. 

    And the everyday positions of an errant bar of soap.

    I have to get into the tub and wash because there’s an interviewer coming over at 5:35. I told her to come over exactly at that time because I’ll be studying Arabic until 5:30. That’s what my schedule tells me, but I’m off schedule. 

    The dominoes fall. 

    I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to the interview but it’s for a popular magazine that will help publicize the research I’ve been conducting upon myself. I’ve been working outside of any university and so there’s no hope for funding there. My only recourse is to private funding. I haven’t left my house for three years and I need to take a shower before she comes over. 

    I’ve had showers before: 1,034 to be precise.

    At the back of my mind there are not only faces and formulas but also numbers that slowly revolve forward: so far I’ve written 435 words, breathed 47 times in and 48 times out and blinked 112 times. To name a few figures.

    Everything in my house is arranged as a mnemonic. There are two toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste scattered in a loose triangle on the floor. They stand for the three years that I’ve spent memorizing everything under the sun. The shower curtain is on the floor which reminds me of the exact shape of the Rocky Mountains (her favorite place in the world). The phone is off the hook and beeps incessantly. It’s been beeping like that for three years.

    Everything is as it should be but that bar of soap is in a different position.

    I think.

    It’s not where it was three years ago when I came home to her body. This is a memory that emerges of its own volition from time to time. Sometimes when I’m trying to fall asleep, I see her on the floor and I run to get the phone and I fall and it starts to beep. When I came home after the funeral I didn’t move anything but set about perfecting my memory so that I could hold everything in place.

    But.

    I have never had such a powerful memory of her in the middle of the day. Not at 4:53 anyway.

    Grief grows in unturned directions.

    This morning at 8:05 I briefly forgot her favorite color. 

    As if moths in the back of my mind have started to chew holes in my memory.

    Lacunae as larva for even more of less.

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