General Fiction posted August 22, 2013

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After a stroke, I had no memory.

I can't say I remember.

by PhilipCatshill

I remember the hurt I went through. I've had a stroke or two in my time. When the odd blood vessel bursts or gets blocked up in your brain, it churns your memory around. Some treasured moments are gone forever; some painful moments remain. When it first happened, it was just as though someone had flicked the switch on the computer. "Too late to back up now," we say, as hours of work disappear into the ether. As I lay there on the bathroom floor, my mind was empty. Someone had flicked my switch.

Over the days, weeks and years that followed, I managed to piece some clues together and make a memory or two out of them, but since that first stroke thirty years ago, I've never been able to say, "I remember". It's strange, but some of the memories I have now, I've had to borrow from elsewhere. Sometimes, that can be confusing. Not for me, but all the rest of the world, who remember things differently.

I began to think that others were trying to convince me that some important things had happened in a different way, and for a while, I would concede they had to be right, because they could say, "I remember," and speak with the conviction of someone with an undamaged brain. I started to keep a diary, and write down these things as they occurred.

When a younger man took a fancy to my wife, and she a fancy to him, they swore there was nothing going on. It was easier to concede to their memories, though they were so different to mine. I even bought a pocket tape recorder and made notes of conversations.

I might have lost brain cells by the bucketful, but when I want to remember those turbulent days at the end of that marriage, I just play back that tape or read a diary. It's little consolation, but if you want to know the truth, what they planned or how they conspired to have me thrown out of my home, I don't have to say I remember, not when it's written down.

I Remember writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Begin your non-fiction autobiographical story or poem with the words 'I remember...' Complete the sentence conveying a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100, but not more than 1,000 words. The count should be stated in your author notes.

362 words
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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