*This is an essay I wrote that was inspired by the movie Memento which I didn’t actually watch but heard about in my English class and immediately caught my interest.
I wake up not knowing where I am, who I am, what I am doing here, and completely and utterly terrified. I find myself lying down on my back facing the ceiling. As my eyes adjust to the bright light coming out of the window from the morning sun, I notice a humongous poster plastered over the four corners of my ceiling. On it were hundreds of messages; some large in font while others small, some written with great emphasis, while others written lazily. The one that first caught my attention was the message that stated, ¨You have anterograde amnesia”. Anterograde amnesia? What in the world is that, I think to myself. Next to the message there is another writing saying, ¨You don’t know what that is, so go to your desk, and find the dictionary. There is a tab where the definition of anterograde amnesia is. The definition is also highlighted¨.
Getting out of my bed, I anxiously walk towards my desk. On the middle of the desk next to a pile of paper and a cell phone is the dictionary, with a thin piece of paper used as a bookmark, saying, ¨Don’t be afraid¨. It’s a little too late for that, my subconscious tells me. Opening the dictionary, I land on the definition and it states: Anterograde amnesia is a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.
I have amnesia? That cannot be true. I remember everything as if it were yesterday. In fact I do remember yesterday. I remember going to the 2004 prom dance with my sister and a bunch of my close friends then going to dinner afterwards. How can I remember all this if I have amnesia? I pick up the cell phone to call my sister, to see if she has any idea of what is going on with me, when I realize the date on the upper hand corner. It reads: December 2014.
I have anterograde amnesia. I feel a sudden wave of nausea and quickly sit down. I tilt my head upwards and notice the poster yet again. This time, I grab my pillow and blanket, lay it on the floor, and read all the poster has to say. An hour later I am aware of my name, who my family is, who to call, who to trust, and learn a fraction of who I am. I also read where I keep my diary full of cherished memories. I quickly retrieve my diary and read what I had to say. I start of describing the day I was diagnosed with anteograde amnesia. I had gotten the information from my older sister, who told me that my condition only lasts one day. I would forget everything that happens to me the next day. She told me of this one time where I ended up going to the school I used to attend ten years ago, with a binder and everything, and entered what used to be my previous history class with a bunch of students ten years younger than me. Confused, I sat on my seat and noticed that my history teacher looked so…old. He was sitting down, grading a cluster of test papers, when he glanced up and saw me. Dazed and confused, he walked up to me and said, “Diana is that you?”. He ended up taking me to the front office and having them call my sister, which he had as a student the year before me.
Reading through my jurnal I came about another story of when I ended up in my aunts backyard, where I used to hangout when I was a kid and my parents were out on business trips. I sat on the swing and gazed at the sky when an old lady came out of the house looking startled. She screamed at me, thinking I was a thief, and I screamed at her, thinking she was trespasser. The old lady shuffled back inside and grabbed her house phone calling 9-1-1, while I yelled my aunts name to warn her about the criminal in her livingroom.
As I continued to read, I realized it was already dark outside. My eyes were drooping with exhaustion, and I went under the covers of my bed. Putting the diary and dictionary back in its place where I can find it tommorow, I went to sleep. And the next day started over again.