More from our Good To Be Reminded Department …
I found a folder over the weekend among the many that I’ve dragged from hard drive to hard drive over the years. Inside it was an assortment of things related to my XSO. Design files, photographs, calendars, budgets and last but not least, a letter that I wrote to her after a concert she’d given one Sunday at her church. The letter began with my thoughts on the concert and ended with a long apologia in defense of my favorite cause. Me. Why I’d said or not said certain things. How what others had said or done had informed my excellent decisions.
What a prick I was. First of all, why write what amounted to an inter-office memo? I lived with the woman, for god’s sake. Why not a conversation? Second, why keep the damn thing at all? Why archive one’s personal life in this way? As evidence? Of what?
Purely by coincidence, I also watched “The Final Cut” this weekend. It’s a sci-fi drama starring Robin Williams. He plays a “cutter,” a person who assembles flattering video retrospectives of the dearly and sometimes not so dearly departed. Raw footage for these retrospectives is downloaded from the brains of those fortunate enough to have received Eye Tech implants at birth. The implants record every waking moment.
When Williams’ character is hired to create a “rememory” (as the retrospectives are called) for a pedophile, his own orderly life begins to unravel … and the plot to unfold.
I mention the movie because I’d forgotten about the concert and the letter until this weekend. Now I’m cringing at the very thought of them and wondering how many other prickish moments I’ve deep-sixed. Plenty, I’m sure.
But life goes on, doesn’t it? We change. Or we try to change. Or we think we’ve changed until we find a prickish letter we wrote years ago and it sounds to us like something we could have written yesterday.
Eye Tech implant data is supposed to be accessed only post mortem and then only by a cutter. A more interesting movie might have imagined what happens when people are allowed to see at certain intervals what the cutter will see. How many adjust course? How many explode? How much is going forward helped or hindered by how much going back?