Wednesday, February 20, 2013

82. A Walk in Amnesia

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Flowers for Algernon (13)
Daniel Keyes

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June 19—Sometimes, at night, I go out for a walk. Last night I couldn’t remember where I lived. A policeman took me home. I have the strange feeling that this has all happened to me before—a long time ago. I keep telling myself I’m the only person in the world who can describe what’s happening to me.
June 21—Why can’t I remember? I’ve got to fight. I lie in bed for days and I don’t know who or where I am. Then it all comes back to me in a flash. Fugues of amnesia. Symptoms of senility—second childhood. I can watch them coming on. It’s so cruelly logical. I learned so much and so fast. Now my mind is deteriorating rapidly. I won’t let it happen. I’ll fight it. I can’t help thinking of the boy in the restaurant, the blank expression, the silly smile, the people laughing at him. No—please—not that again.
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June 22—I’m forgetting things that I learned recently. It seems to be following the classic pattern—the last things learned are the first things forgotten. Or is that the pattern? I’d better look it up again.
I reread my paper on the Algernon-Gordon Effect and I get the strange feeling that it was written by someone else. There are parts I don’t even understand.
[Motor activity impaired. I keep tripping over things, and it becomes increasingly difficult to type.]
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