I Rote This

I remember it well – the day I died. Well, you would wouldn’t you? I was eighty years old and surrounded by the family I’d loved for so long. I can see each tear rolling down their faces even now. They never believed it could happen of course, and I remember my youngest grand daughter playing with her handheld console right up until the end came. It’s funny how memory works isn’t it? When I remember the night I died I can picture her there and could probably describe exactly what she was wearing to you. I can see the console in her hands and even see the logo on the back, but I don’t remember what the logo is of. I guess it’s not important to me at that time which is funny because I remember how later they will be important to me, but by that moment I didn’t care about them enough to remember. I can even remember the day I lost interest in game consoles. I remember reading the specs of the upcoming machine and thinking that it sounded like too much work for me. I never ended up buying it, and I didn’t get another one after that. I can remember the last machine I did get clear as day yet, try as I might, I can’t remember the names of any of the games I will play on it. It’s funny what little details you forget and which ones you hold on to.

I often wonder if this is the same for other people whose memories work only one way. I really should ask someone yet I know that I never did because I’d remember it. Oh sorry, if you’re reading this then you haven’t learned yet. Through some aberration of my birth I have the benefit of two-way four dimensional experience matrices. In short, I can remember my future as well as my past. It’s not easy remembering your death you know and I should have found it especially hard to come to terms with, except I remembered how to deal with it as if it were something I’d been doing all my life. I simply remembered getting over it and I did. I remembered tragedies and comedies before they came and every single experience in between, yet as I remembered them I knew how I’d acted at the time and made sure to act the same way when they finally happened. Even these words are being written this way as I remember them. I’m not even sure what some of them mean as I’m only seven years old right now and while my memory can see events it can’t remember what I was thinking at the time. Still, I remember myself pulling out a dictionary and looking them up so that’s what I did, especially when I read the title I gave this as I thought it was spelled incorrectly but it turns out it is a word after all. It means learning by doing though what that has to do with my life story I have no idea.

It’s never been easy living this life, having to make sure that I always perform every action at the right time. I’ve never known what will happen if I stray from the path laid out before me so I’ve always been sure to keep to the plan. It’s been frustrating sometimes as I’ve missed out on things that my instinct was telling me I could have had, yet I stuck to the path. After all, for all I know the entire universe could fall apart if I step off the already beaten track. I could have asked for help yet I remember that I never did so I can’t, nor will I have anyone to talk to about it. I look forward at myself and wonder sometimes if that person is content living like this and if he ever has any of these doubts. Still, it’s not all bad. I’ve always been good at anything I try straight away, as I remember doing these things and being good at them. This book, which I’m writing right now will be published when I’m in my forties and I’ll make a fortune off it. Of course I have to publish it as science fiction rather than my memoirs but people lap it up, and “the format of the child writing it and remembering different parts of his life out of order” is praised by the critics. I must have liked that as I remember that line clearly in the newspaper, yet everything else on that page is blurred out when I try to remember it like the logo on the game console. That’s how my memory works, by the way. I enter each memory and can pan around the room like a camera, checking out other angles that get filled in by what I know (or not in some cases, as proven when I looked over someone’s shoulder at a newspaper I remembered not reading and found it was blank inside). It’s quite an easy life if you think about it, surrounded by events that are going to happen and preparing for them, acting a way you know will work out fine every single time.

Still, I can’t help but look back on that fateful day in the future when my time finally ends and wonder about my final words. What caused me to say them? What is there meaning? Why would someone as blessed as me leave this life after saying “If only it had been different…” I suppose I’ll know at the end, because I’m not stupid enough to change a single moment of my remembered life. No, I’m clever me, so I wont change a thing.

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36 thoughts on “I Rote This

  1. Unfortunately you cant 'replay' the levels of life or start from the beginning. Not with my console, that is…;)Good story. Nice way to begin a new week.

  2. Rosie will later admit she was on her third martini of the day too.Aadil, nope. You're just trying to gain some fame from my ability. Later I'll find you dressing like me and trying the hungryface.Kim, I like you. πŸ˜‰

  3. But you did write something similar, right? :sherlock:.Actually, I think you've written two other short stories that have a similar theme (recollections of death). Or is my memory more fragmented than usuall today? :faint:.

  4. Oh yes, I've written things with similar themes. The idea has always fascinated me. There was one where I talked about an afterlife and one where someone was trapped in their own body reliving their last day over and over. This is about the futility of life with absolute knowledge of the future.

  5. Same theme is sort of the primary plot of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Timequake' where everybody is sort of thrusted ten years back from 2001 to 1991 thus having to re-live their lives, in the exact same way, doing the same, thinking the same thoughts and of course making the same mistakes. The book explores the concept of free will. Of course the book is actually 'Timequake Two', because he wrote the original in the nineties, and what we are reading is the version he had to write during the timequake.And of course Vonnegut's alter ego Kilgore Trout plays an important role, like in most of Vonnegut's books.

  6. "…having to make sure that I always perform every action at the right time."This is a bit confusing because I understood your actions are pre-determined, so they could not happen in a "wrong" time :left:But all in all, this is a great story :up:

  7. The idea is that the protagonist remembers doing these things and is too scared to do anything different. He spends his life ensuring he does things at exactly the right time rather than enjoying the passing moments and having faith that his actions will end up being right. He's basically the white rabbit with a stop watch, constantly watching the time and terrified to be late. His last words show that, as he dies he finally realises he could have changed.

  8. I was thinking more of another thing. If he remembers doing things certain way in speciffic time, he could not change them at all. I mean, time. That is beyond his control. I may be wrong, though…

  9. Darko, that's his point of view. If you were in that position and knew that life led to disappointment, wouldn't you try to change something at least once though?Aadil, I'm aware of that. It works fine in mobile view, but the new way they do desktop view is a bloody nightmare, especially as they don't let us access the things they change. Stick to mobile view when here and there'll be no problems.

  10. Well Darko, that seems to be his way of understanding it as well. :up:.The thing is, he was actually too scared to try and became obsessed with reenacting his 'memory' to the second. As a result, he lived his life more like an actor in a well rehearsed play than actually 'living' his life. :awww:.

  11. nice read for me on a rainy day and makes you think and think again.Choices you make is it right or as some saying goes that whatever is happening right now is meant to be. Or is it? What if I change my mind and do something totally different is that then meant to be? Ok I know I'm straying now.. πŸ™„

  12. Hmmm… Now I'm imagining him ended up being reborn into this world and remember everything from his previous life. Nice one, Mik :up:

  13. Mik, one of us has got to do something about this. That people obviously don't know the first thing about science fiction, I mean. I've considered for some time to do a post called 'Science Fiction for Dummies', explaining in common lingo the general themes of SF, but found out that I can't be bothered. Perhaps you are the man for the task. Somehow it's gotta be done.

  14. You are of course right – not 'of course' as in 'of course you are right because you are always right', though I'm sure you would like it better that way, but 'of course' because I agree. People are comfortable with genres, though, and they will get confused and sometimes even scared if there weren't any genres. It is like if you tell them the universe is without boundaries. They just don't get it. Or like if you tell them that being of a certain race or religion doesn't make you better than the rest. That will even make them upset. We got to meet them on their level, Mik.

  15. I refuse. The world must make efforts to raise itself to a higher level (even if that takes the painful deaths of all those who live for reality television) if it's going to be worthy of anything better.For me, genres have always been artificial boundaries. Things that come with a set of rules that usually get in the way of telling a compelling story. It's only when someone crosses the genre boundaries and ignores the conventions that a decent story can be told these days (although a story typical for one genre told in another can be an interesting exercise) as we've all become so accustomed to the rules and how they work. It's become so bad that I can usually tell you who did what and why on a television programme just by the way the actor portrays a role.

  16. Colouring by numbers has always been dull. I know people who honestly believe themselves to be excellent writers, because they follow the rules of some book they read or some course in creative writing they took. Stories written like that are really nothing but very advanced sudokus, and you can analyze them apart in five minutes. Then there is fan fiction. On a level, I get that, I really do, but if you write like that it gets almost impossible to be creative. It's easy, yeah, but it is not creative writing – it is more like playing with tin soldiers (or plastic orcs).

  17. Hey, I wrote this next week :irked:Well-written, although I think it needs more emphasis on futility – it's not depressing enough :p More existential angst and bleakness, please :DI also wonder – if he at any age has all the memories he will ever have…would he reflect differently on different things based on his age? Why would he be puzzled over his last words when he already knows everything leading up to it?

  18. I guess the question is 'is it the experience that has an effect, or the memory of the experience?' A little of both, I guess.

  19. Originally posted by Furie:

    There was meant to be an emphasis on memory of events with no knowledge of the feelings evoked by them.

    Your Kung-Fu is improving, my young apprentice.:up:

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