handle with care

December 25, 2008

picture-17“What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one’s faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one’s memories.” – William Somerset Maugham

Technically I am not old; and perhaps that is why I couldn’t yet fully grasped what Maugham meant by ” the burden of one’s memories”. But I do know memories mutate according to the fancy movements of the even fancier constellations in the quiet of the nights.

Not sure about yours, but mine behave that way. Hell, I even make up memories as I go, guided simply by the Delta of Venus and a certain Mr. MacAllen.

And as you’d have expected these memories are as unreliable as any love stories of the sentimental kind; and that is only fair.

It is quite simple, actually: if you don’t like the older version of a certain memories, you go back and edit them, then press ctrl + s.

Do it often and you’ll be great at it; and sooner or later, you’ll get one that’s agreeable.

Memories are powerful things, you gotta be careful with them. Because one day they are going to be the only thing left for you.

I still don’t quite understand what Maugham meant by “the burden of one’s memories”, but I guess it’d be something like the passage at the end of The Catcher in the Rye:

D.B. asked me what I thought about all this stuff I just finished telling you about. I didn’t know what the hell to say. If you want to know the truth, I don’t know what I think about it. I’m sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice. It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

And so I’m missing you.

*photograph by Ralph Gibson


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