Prose on forgetting

The ancient world knew well what it meant to be forgotten, or, rather, erased from the collective memory of peoples. Forgetting then served a purpose, as it does now.

The worst among us condemn our childhoods, under the precepts of the Freudians, to a realm of damnatio memoriae, a Stalinesque removal from the picture of all things unseemly. We suffer through adolescence (or we think we suffer, though most of us convince ourselves we suffer so as to partake of the pornography of world-misery: a drama in microcosm) and, thereafter, proceed to do our damnedest job of forgetting. Even a hermitage is stocked with craft beer so the surly recluses may, too, forget their lot.

We forget when we were five and couldn’t yet hold our bladder because we, perceptive us, were terrified of our teachers. We forget when we couldn’t ride a bicycle because it was too large for our bodies and our mothers were too busy surviving to apply to anything that especial touch we learned is mimicked by Maternal Disney. We forget when we overdosed (a few times more than once) in a restaurant bathroom because we thought it lubricated conversation which we, at that point, figured intellectual.

We forget every decade and are glad for it, and when we are old, our skill for forgetting will serve us well when the entirety of our history is reaped away and we are left as we are, as we always should have been: a curiously sensitive and mentally destructive species of primate the members of which have learned a common cipher of symbols and thought themselves transcendent, however falsely.

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~ by Jeremy on June 28, 2013.

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