Monday, April 24, 2006

Memory Hole

You might recall that term from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. There, a “Memory Hole” was a slot in the wall into which unwanted material – “facts” that had been rewritten and other small mementoes of a dead past – were dropped. From there, they began a journey through chutes into a furnace that reduced them to ash.

I, too, have a “Memory Hole.” Mine, however, does not lead to a furnace.

Instead, I have a wooden box, in which I store pictures and other memories from my marriage along with photos, emails and other items gathered during the years of the one great mutual love – and yes, I can say that honestly, even though it is long over – I have known in my life.

Recently, I added more items to the “Memory Hole.” Pictures, messages and a few other items. Between these and what was already there, they have filled the box to the limit of its capacity. I can barely close it now.

These are the things I acquired during my last relationship. The one in which I fell in love with a woman who I believe is, in essence, truly wonderful. Perfect in her imperfection, she is the woman with whom I felt certain I was meant to be truly happy.

Given present conditions, I cannot bear to have those items anywhere in view or in my computer.

You might wonder why I don’t take the Orwellian way out and simply consign all these painful memories to the flames. I sometimes wonder about that, too.

In the first two instances, I see these relics as a part of my past and, try as I might, I can’t change that. I’m not sure I’d change that if I could; out of each, some good came.

The third? I simply cannot, will not, accept that a love with such deep, strong foundations is beyond saving.

If the first is irretrievably buried, and the second is unlikely to return, the third, which is at least temporarily sharing space with them, represents my future. On the day I again have a future, I will want them close to me.

But for now, I have had to hide my future away in a box.

You see, I am superstitious: I fear that I will cease to exist when all the joy and hopes represented by those things now consigned to my own Memory Hole vanish in flames.

1 comment:

HarpO'Fly said...

That seems reasonable to me. Some things, at some points in time, need to be saved, but not seen. The emotion of it is too troublesome but getting rid of the item, unthinkable. Save it for better times when the memory doesn't bring sadness.