Memory Fail, 4

[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes]

Sarah's SUV speeds through forests and along lakes, eventually bringing her and the driver to the Olympia Veterans Affairs offices. The building doubles as a live-in facility as well. They park the car in the sparse but expansive lot, this one next to a sprawling corn field so large they are unable to see any other edges, and enter the administrative building.

Captain Wilcox is there to meet them. He is the ranking officer of the staff and will be helping with today's drill and session.

VA was told this was a new form of exercise-based therapy, they went along and supplied volunteers, soldiers who were willing to try just about anything. These were typically soldiers suffering from severe cases of PTSD, the trauma from their time in the military ruining any chance at a new life.

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Memory Fail, 3

[Estimated reading time: 5 minutes]


The woman from the video is named Sarah Shinpei. She lives alone.

She wakes up to a soft alarm that goes off at 6:45am. Sarah picks up her phone, slides a finger across its face and silences the ringing.

The sun shines in through the floor to ceiling windows. The blinds are set to open at the same time as the alarm, and they rise slowly and fill the room with a bright yellow light. Sarah is surprised at the sun, but pleasantly so. She's always pleasantly surprised by sunlight, which makes her a battle-scarred Seattleite.

She stretches and half-falls, half-crawls out of the bed, playfully stomps along to the bathroom and begins her morning routine.

Speakers mounted into the ceiling and clothed in faux book bindings on the shelf start to play old rock that Sarah picked up a passion for recently. The shelf is full of books and CDs and takes up one long wall of the bedroom. The wall opposite is glass windows. The bathroom is at one end, the bed at the other. The bed looks over the city.

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Memory Fail, 2

[Estimated reading time: 3 minutes][Previous]

What was going on? Who left me these books? Was I dreaming this?

I took the books, tossed them in the back of my car, then walked around the library. Didn't have a plan in the least, but I thought that walking would help. Maybe my head would clear. Maybe I'd stumble onto an answer. Or fucking anything.

The forest was a young one, lots of thin trees, the carpet of needles just too light. It was a recent library, who knows, maybe this was a recent forest as well.

I walked around and thought about our impermanence. Then it started to rain, so I got back in the car and made my way home slowly, on backroads, preferring new turns to familiar streets, with GPS silently and dilligently routing and rerouting me, while I paid it no attention and relied on circumstance.

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Memory Fail, 1

[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes]Last week I found a card in my wallet. A white business card, stiff paper, blank on one side, blue ink on the other, lined up in curves to form a phrase. A sentence. Eight words that spoke a simple concept.

I have tried for the past nine days to memorize these words, in this order, this idea expanded in my head.

It is impossible. I've sat in my room for hours and stared at that damned card. I've read it over and over a thousand times, ten thousand. The idea makes sense and for a while I understand the message, the concept, the whole damn thing.

And then in fifteen minutes it is gone, puff, disappeared from my mind as if it were ashes, on a windy day, blown away, out, into the ocean, towards the infinite horizon.

I haven't been able to work, to eat, to sleep. Not much, anyway. I'm a walking zombie, one hand wrapped around a bottle, the other heavy with the wrinkled parchment. I am lost.

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