From the weekend, minus some on my laptop

November 6, 2006 § Leave a comment

At that moment, another man walked in the room. The recruitment guy seemed relieved, mumbled some excuses, and left. I wasn’t sorry to see him go. The new guy was talking at me, but I hadn’t heard a thing he said up to this point. As he was talking, he had managed to make a complete circle of the room, checking things on the machines. His hands fidgeted with everything: his coat, his watch, even his hair. He was constantly picking things up only to put them right back down again. I winced every time his hands flew near a glass test tube or the jars of reagents. I was so busy watching his hands that the only thing I picked up from his monologue was his name.

“Michael, is it? Maybe you can help me here. The last guy didn’t tell me anything. What is this place?”

“Really? He’s new, you can’t really blame him. I think you’re the first new recruit he’s processed. Come with me, I’ll give you the real tour. You like coffee? We can go get coffee.” He left no room for argument, and practically bounced back out the door he came from. I had a hard time keeping up, even though he was a good few inches shorter than me. His twitching hands made me wonder just how many cups he’d had today already.

“Tell me about yourself,” he said as we walked down the maze of corridors. I hoped I wouldn’t have to remember my way back.

“I can’t remember anything. They erased it.” It felt strange to say, as though I was a character in some kind of science fiction movie.

“Start with your name. It’ll start coming back. They only take some stuff, but it feels like everything to begin with.” Somehow that wasn’t a comfort.

“My name’s Alexa.”

“Nice to meet you. Oh, here we are!” The room we entered was only marginally larger than the lab we had left. Several coffee machines gurgled contentedly in a corner, and Michael motioned for me to sit in one of the worn chairs surrounding an equally worn table. His agitated hands were a blur as he poured the coffee into mugs of questionable cleanliness while simultaneously groping for sugar packets. I expected him to drop something, but somehow he managed to juggle the coffee over and set it down in front of me. “I didn’t ask what you wanted because I know you’ll like it this way.” I liked my coffee black, but it didn’t seem worth it to argue the point. I took a polite sip to humor him. “So you were saying?”

“About me? Well, like I said, all I can remember…” But suddenly there was something; a memory that seemed almost foreign. Breaking my arm while climbing on the jungle gym in the fourth grade. I couldn’t remember the sensations, but it was a vague feeling that it had happened.

“Where did you go to school?” he was asking me. I looked up at him sharply; it was almost as though he knew what I was thinking. It was a ridiculous thought, but then again I hadn’t thought people could erase your memory either. He seemed confused at the look.


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