On Memory

This is a story about memory.

When Jean-Paul Sartre said he had discovered himself through reading, Werther Armand’s ego was awaken by the love of his mother in a toy shop. Lady Constance Macbeth told her little boy that every mother might not be affluent enough to buy their kids a lot of toys, but they had given their babies a precious piece of blank paper. It was a magical recording organ installed in the human heart. In the life journey, people we encounter would write or paint something in various colors on this paper. What was written and painted would then become our memory. Our life might be taken, our belongings and properties might be stolen, but our memory might not. This was the first thing written on Werther Armand’s paper and the first thing he was aware that it belonged entirely to him. He said to his mother with his lovely naïve eyes, “thank you, mum, but I still want that super cool Spiderman suit. I want that it be part of my memory too. “

I always enjoy savouring the process of recalling some images or words left on my paper. It does not matter whether they bring along happiness, regret, sadness, rage, disappointment…  It is the pleasure of possessing and exploring something freely according to my will. (Looks like reading a control freak’s entry, isn’t it?) Yet, the sovereignty of our memory remains in question. How much power does one have to select, edit, save and review in relation to those who participate in the composition of our memory? Think about it and you will realize that we are pretty passive in controlling our memory. Sometimes I see that we enjoy more autonomy in reviewing. But, when I notice that our reviewing is always reminded by someone or something, there is no point in lying to myself that I am the absolute owner of my memory. I am not.

Moreover, we have become more and more powerless since the introduction of those electronic portable memory storage devices. We even abandon our rights, we no longer explore within our own memory on our own. We outsource our memory to those dead machines. When we need some information, we just put in a word on the keyboard and in less than a second we have the information we need. Technology truly makes life more convenient though, and machines seem to be more reliable than my mother’s piece of sheet. When my hard-disk is full, I will just get a new one. When I am not happy with something, I will just delete it. But, if there is no more empty space on my paper, I cannot add another one. (Like you cannot add another arm to your body.) Nor can I erase something, especially those at-the-first-glance unhappy ones, to free some space. (But you may chop your arm if it doesn’t please you. Don’t regret, it hurts damn much!) My mum lied to me just because she had not had the money to get me some superhero costume. And this lie now makes me think that memory is more like a curse than a blessing. Shall I stop memorizing and remembering? Oh no, for some masculine reason, I would rather get some more memory about some beautiful things:

Coming home after a dinner with some good friends, Marguerite Karenina asked her lover’s opinion on the new girlfriend of Mr. A:

Werther Armand said indifferently, “Well, I just took a glance on her, you didn’t like me watching other girls. So, I don’t remember well her. Just a light brown stink on the edge of the right cup of her violet Princess Tam Tam seamless bra, she must have been careless of her coffee some day. And she apparently has just shaved her legs for the dinner in a hurry, her thighs were not well shaved. Fortunately her dress was in deep blue so that her hairs were not very obvious…”

Gazing at beautiful women transforms men’s eyes to a state-of-the-art computer. First he scans, then he saves it to his hard-disk. For giving up such a pleasure hurts more than castration, I defend my rights of memorizing and remembering until my last breath.

Bye for now, see you next blog! (By the way, let me know if the new layout is crappy or fancy, thank you!)


3 thoughts on “On Memory

  1. Pingback: On Diary « Romance of the Chinese man

  2. Pingback: On Paris « Romance of the Chinese man

  3. Pingback: On Memory 2 « Romance of the Chinese man

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