Once upon a time there was a woman who found herself in a different land. The language was a mystery to her. The culture, a struggle to comprehend. The brain damage thought to be permanent wasn’t. Retention returned. Captured words and their meanings were new, sleek, shiny, like the reward at the end of a line on a fishing pole. But, some days she got skunked, like every other fisher person does.
Screw fishing metaphors, she thought. Think about starting over again and there is going to be paperwork to fill out. Total overload.
Yes – a memory…she used to go to work every day. How could she kill a memory? Could she tell it to “shut up?” Would a memory listen? They have after-shocks the size of elephants. And elephants never forget…or did she never forget elephants? She thought she could gag her memory’s foul mouth…strangle it…do memories have appendages that can be cut off?
“Aspirin,” someone once suggested. How about heroin? A doctor suggested killing the nerve. What nerve? What nerve ! !
“Brain circuitry scrambled, Captain Kirk.”
“Good work, Scotty…warp drive…set the controls for the heart of the sun.”
She vowed to never wake up before dawn again. She vowed to never pick appropriate clothing for the day. She vowed to never go out and start the car to warm in the cold darkness, or scrape her wind shield, or compete for road space with other desperate drivers, screaming “What the fuck was that, you moron…that was a yellow light – GO, GO, GO.”
Some people like their work.
She had been an accountant.
Accountants are not allowed to like their work…it’s the law.
Watching the sunset last night from Nogui’s Bar and Restaurant on Playa Tamarindo, her new husband asked her:
“Can you believe you live here?”
“No,” she replied. “I have twenty-five years of hard labor to un-believe.”
She missed her family, and her friends, and even some of her old co-workers. But she vowed she would not miss one moment of this life – it’s so much better than her last.