Sunday, June 27, 2010

His Majesty

I bow before His Majesty Forgetfulness who has allowed me to go on with my life unencumbered by memories of all my nastiness and lies, my stutterings and incoherences, my drunkenness and false promises. Thanks to His beneficent rule, I have no idea how I got these scars I wear. I assume I played with fire but it is also possible that I was born this way, in pain, half-baked, and that I've really got a heart of gold. I have a vague idea where I came from but when I look at the photos in my dresser drawer -- a man with a mustache in a soldier's uniform, a young girl in a floral smock standing in front of a stone bridge -- I ask myself, who are those people? Am I supposed to know them? They belong in a different kingdom, the Land of Memory, where couples played tennis and drank iced tea. My parents lived there, and the generations before them -- tell me, poot, what good did remembering the past do them?

I thank His Majesty for unburdening me of my regret. There were many times in my life when things could've turned out differently, so many roads not taken. I lingered long in the hallways of false optimism, a white American man full of potential, waiting for the bell to ring, waiting for the light bulb to go on. That it never did confused me and depressed me. I thought that there must be something wrong with me, that I was damaged goods and that I would never "make it" the way others had made it. I was hard on myself. But now that I've come under your power it seems obvious: I'm the person I'm supposed to be -- however it came about, it's best to let it ride. I've seen how destructive memories and regrets can be, how it can twist a body up into a pretzel, and so often results in violence, too often of the self-destructive kind. Thank goodness that's no longer my MO.

I am also glad that my fellow citizens have made themselves subject to His Majesty's authority -- it means we can ignore each other's histories and get on with the business of erecting a better future, each man for himself. It is so much easier to get along when you can't remember which poor bastards you've screwed lately. Live and let live, make your pile, build your castle, install a security system. Whatever you do, make sure you get a dog, a living creature like yourself, with no memories either. Speaking of security systems, I love the technology around here and the wizards who know how to use it. Very impressive. I love being on the cutting edge among all of these early adopters. Because this is the Kingdom of Forgetfulness, these gadgets are incredibly useful. I don't think we could get along without them.

Your Majesty, I figure I've lived better than half of my life already -- I'm fifty-six -- and most of that living was done across the river in the Land of Memory. What a waste. Now that I'm here, I feel good, genuinely oriented to the future, and excited for new adventures. But I have one big fear I'm hoping you can allay: I'm afraid that when I start losing my mind -- if I live that long -- I'll go back over to the Land of Memory as so many other old people do. I don't think I could bear it again. Is there any way you can insure that I'll stay here for the rest of my life -- in your Kingdom of Forgetfulness? I promise to be an exemplary subject if you do.

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