I recently finished More Happy Than Not, and for those of you who don’t know, a big part of it is this idea of the procedure you can get that erases part of your memory. The first character we see who has it has forgotten he ever had a twin brother, because his brother was shot with bullets that were meant for him. And it got me thinking; would I be willing to have that procedure?
Everyone has done things that they regret. Those things that make you cringe just to think about, let alone mention out loud. Or things that will always, always make them sad, things that can’t be fixed. Imagine if someone who could just take those away from you! You wouldn’t have to hide from that person that witnessed that embarrassing thing, because they wouldn’t remind you of it! That sadness isn’t hanging over you all the time; instead, it’s as if it never happened. Seems promising, right?
Here’s the major problem for me, though. I think that everything bad happens for a reason (so cheesy, I know). I think that you learn lessons from whatever ruined you, and in the long run you become a better person because of it. Losing that friend made you realise
that, actually, you maybe are a little bit selfish (even if you hate them for saying it). And your next group of friends won’t think that about you at all, because you’ve been given a chance to make an effort to fix the problem. On the other side of that, imagine if you lived an absolutely perfect life. You’d be the worst kind of person. You know, that only child that expects everything to be handed them on a silver platter (as a stereotype, not all of you are like that!). Except, imagine that on an even bigger scale. They’ve never been sad in their entire lives, or at least nothing worse than watching The Fault In Our Stars, because every real life pain has been erased from them. Can you imagine how stuck up this person would be? Can you imagine them getting mad at you for your sadness, and telling you to “just be happy”? That person would be the absolute worst, and I wonder if that procedure became common, could we have loads of them wandering around?
The other thing I couldn’t bear is letting go of all the happy memories that go alongside the sad ones. That friend you lost, or the ex who dumped you, or your twin brother who died; for a while, they were your whole life. There was a time when you couldn’t imagine going a day without talking to them. Do you really want to throw that all away? I have inside jokes with my ex that still make me laugh, years later, even if I’m not sharing the joke with him. For a while, I thought he was my happily ever after, and even though I laugh at past me now (we were not good together), that’s an amazing feeling to have. Why would you ever want to throw something like that away? I feel like the current pain can’t be worth getting rid of good memories, and particularly for someone who has died, it seems like an insult to pretend they never existed.
Basically, I don’t think pain is permanent or painful enough to want to remove your own memories. In theory, it good be a really good idea. But in practice, I feel like it would just go terribly. What do you think? Would you go through the procedure?