Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday

It is your birthday. You visit the home of your best pal, only to find it filled with your friends and family; it is a surprise party!

Oh, you realize, there are so many presents, of all shapes and sizes! You can hardly wait to see what each one is.

After sharing a few obligatory laughs with the guests, it is time to begin opening your gifts.

First the big one, then the little one, then the medium-sized one. You are so overwhelmed with delight that it doesn't occur to you right away just what is happening.

You open one box to find a personalized copy of the Holy Book. You turn to thank the one who gave it to you, and, suddenly struck with embarrassment and terror, you realize that you no longer remember his name.

You say thank you without mentioning any name at all. You look to the woman who gave you the last present; you've forgotten her name too!

"What's the matter?" asks an old woman, "Don't you like your presents? Don't you want to open more?"

Yes, you say, you love them, and you will open more. You can't get away. All eyes are on you. You must keep going. But with every gift you unwrap, every present you open, you forget the name of the person who gave it to you. You forget ever having known them.

You go on, and the tension escalates. Finally, it is over. All of the presents have been opened. There they are, all laid out on the table. A book, a comb, an old tape recording, a photo album, a record, and so much more. You are standing in a room full of strangers.

You smile and bluff and continue to go along with the proceedings. You eat cake. The sweetness is sickening.

Finally, it is time to go. They help you load the gifts into the back seat of your car.

You begin driving, but something else is wrong. You panic.

You've forgotten who you are. You've forgotten where you live.

You don't know where to go. 

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