Tag Archives: reality

What Has Happened?

I see F hastily cutting something with scissors and I say, “Be careful you don’t do what D did.”

What did D do?

“Didn’t he mention it? A few weeks ago I saw he had a bandage covering the tip of his index finger and I asked what happened. He said,

It was the stupidest thing. I was cutting open the top of a plastic milk bag, like this, and I just wasn’t paying attention. Snipped the very tip of my finger off. Couldn’t believe I did it.”

Not long after this memorable chat with F, I was back at D’s place and saw the bandage was gone. “All healed up, then?”

What do you mean?

“The tip of your finger.”

Which finger?

“Your index finger.”

He showed me his right hand. Undamaged. “Must have been your other hand.” Nothing. “Man, you made it sound like you had actually cut the tip of your finger off.”

What are you talking about?

So, knowing that D tends not to retain memories of small significance (and some of larger significance), I repeat to D the conversation I had with him several weeks before in front of his kitchen sink.

Not only does D not remember such a conversation, neither do any of his supposedly amputated fingertips. And D doesn’t reuse milk bags; I do. And the bandage was on his right hand; being right-handed, it would have been a left-hand injury.

At this point I concede, against the protestations of my mind, that the incident could only have occurred in a dream, not in lived experience outside of my imagination. “But,” I say, “I told F about that. And I know I’ve told other people. That was a moment in my life; but it never happened.”

What is this, a Philip K. Dick story? Am I a replicant, or am I struggling to achieve Total Recall?

Believe me, I’m happy for D that he isn’t short a fingerprint; but now this mind of mine has me in a quandary. Next time I’m approached amorously by Daryl Hannah, or Sharon Stone, or Kate Beckinsale , I’ll be hornswoggled: should I take it lying down, or jump out the window and wait for Jessica Biel to show up?

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