Into the Oubliette

from by Thunderegg

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If you stripped away your memories, would there be anything left? Things you forgot you remembered, things you remembered to forget? Things you might have already thought before, wiped clean from your head. Last seen falling through a hole in the floor, into the oubliette.

I know it all sounds like a joke but that’s not my intent. It’s just I have so many memories, but I picked them as I went. If I’d chosen different ones, I’d be a different guy, I guess. He spiraled down and was never found, dropped into the oubliette.

For example, I went to the zoo when I was three or four. I hated my ice cream sandwich but don’t remember anything more. I got busted with an open container on Eleventh Street with Seth, but what I did the day before vanished into the oubliette. I remember jamming with Jake eating stuffing sandwiches and watching pay-per-view Black Sheep, but I don’t remember what my baby whispered in my ear that night before I fell asleep. Maybe I was preoccupied with things that hadn’t happened yet, but that’s thousands and thousands of heartbeats flushed down the oubliette. October twenty-second 1995, I know I woke up and went to bed, but to my mind, anything else that happened that day is long rolled over and dead. And ninety-nine percent of my waking life, it’s no mystery where it went. I called it on the carpet and banished it to the oubliette.

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from Thunderegg (1997), released November 18, 1997

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