by Jonathan Nolan
“What like a bullet can undeceive!”
Your wife always used to say you’d be late for your own funeral. Remember that? Her little joke because you were such a slob—always late, always forgetting stuff, even before the incident. Right about now you’re probably wondering if you were late for hers. You were there, you can be sure of that. That’s what the picture’s for—the one tacked to the wall by the door. It’s not customary to take pictures at a funeral, but somebody, your doctors, I guess, knew you wouldn’t remember. They had it blown up nice and big and stuck it right there, next to the door, so you couldn’t help but see it every time you got up to find out where she was. The guy in the picture, the one with the flowers? That’s you. And what are you doing? You’re reading the headstone, trying to figure out who’s funeral you’re at, same as you’re reading it now, trying to figure why someone stuck that picture next to your door. But why bother reading something that you won’t remember? She’s gone, gone for good, and you must be hurting right now, hearing the news. Believe me, I know how you feel. You’re probably a wreck. But give it five minutes, maybe ten. Maybe you can even go a whole half hour before you forget. But you will forget—I guarantee it. A few more minutes and you’ll be heading for the door, looking for her all over again, breaking down when you find the picture. How many times do you have to hear the news before some other part of your body, other than that busted brain of yours, starts to remember? Never-ending grief, never-ending anger. Useless without direction. Maybe you can’t understand what’s happened. Can’t say I really understand, either. Backwards amnesia. That’s what the sign says. CRS disease. Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe you can’t understand what happened to you. But you do remember what happened to HER, don’t you? The doctors don’t want to talk about it. They won’t answer...