Ouroboros of Memory

He said at the beginning, “It’s like rolling yarn into a too-small ball. Sure, you can roll the memories around for a while, and maybe even use some of them. Eventually, though, you’ll wind them all the way out and you’ll be left with nothing but a small loop. You can tie this loop around your finger, and start wrapping your body, but this is an extension of the same problem. You’ll turn into a mummy of memory. There’ll be nothing left underneath but a dead body.

“But what does it mean, To remember the body with the body? I imagine a creature made of memory, putting its feet in its mouth, turning into a ball. In this way, it could roll all around the landscape of its memory. I’ve tried explaining this to other people, but it doesn’t make any sense to them. The task of eating one’s feet is, to them, an unsolvable problem. They seem to have forgotten that, as babies, they were able to make themselves into loops.

“So I increase the count to two: two snakes eating each other’s tales, forming a loop. In this way they are able to put two heads on one body. This doubles the number of memories, which really only exacerbates the problem. It’s like trying to roll two different materials up into a ball. The people I tell this to don’t understand this either, they say using two animals makes sense to them. They say there must be different types of memory.

“I disagree with this theory of memory. I think there is, at bottom, only one type of anything, with subtypes grouped together along the edge of a loop. Color becomes a good metaphor: look how many of them! yet they are all consumed by the same part of the body. Maybe two different materials are still made of material, and maybe they can be rolled into a ball. Maybe there actually never was a problem.

“Or maybe, and this is more likely, I need to restate the problem. I think it all boils down to the fact that I have a truly lousy memory. I’ve tried different mnemonic devices, like imagining each thing I need to remember being visited by a bouncing ball. I’ve tried trying string into finger-loops. I’ve even tried writing the things I need to remember on my body. If you asked me, ‘Do any of these work,’ I would have to answer, ‘None of them.’

“Sometimes in the morning I realize dumbly I’ve forgotten my words, all of them. They generally come back by around ten o’clock, but the frequency with which this is occurring is becoming a problem. I feel that my brain is being separated from my body. Is there a place in the universe for a misplaced memory? Does it eat its own tail and roll around the universe as it loops? Does it shrink down and become lost as a tiny ball?

No matter what happens, eventually I will become them as I lose the last of my memory. I won’t be able to solve the problem of my being, and my being will become my problem, in an eternal loop. I will roll my body into a prenatal ball.