Sometimes I wish I could relive particular moments, just to savor them again. My head does an admirable job of replaying the memories with stunning accuracy and detail, but it can’t replicate the tactile aspects. I wonder how much I romanticize things (being plagued with memories will do that), and I wonder if we’re not two completely different people, changed by time, scars, personal reflection, and other people. That’s the funny and wonderful thing about memories: they’re static, frozen in time. People are still the same in your memories and you’re both exactly as happy (or as miserable) as you were at that point forever.

“What tender memories did I have of Sarah? Much talk about human suffering and what could be done about it — and then infantile silliness for relief. We collected jokes for each other, to use when it was time for relief. We became addicted to talking to each other on the telephone for hours. Those talks were the most agreeable narcotic I have ever known. We became disembodied — like free-floating souls on the planet Vicuna. If there was a long silence, one or the other of us would end it with the start of a joke.

“What is the difference between an enzyme and a hormone?” she might ask me.

“I don’t know,” I would say.

“You can’t hear an enzyme,” she would say, and the silly jokes would go on and on.”

Vonnegut, “Jailbird”


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