Question #4

4. At the age of thirty, you suffer a blow to the skull. The head trauma leave you with a rare form of partial amnesia — though otherwise fine, you’re completely missing five years from your life. You have no memory of anything that happened between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-eight. That period of your life is completely gone; you have no recollection of anything that occurred during that five year gap. You are told by friends and family that — when you were 25 — you (supposedly) became close friends with someone you met on the street. You possess numerous photos of you and this person, and everyone in your life insists that you and this individual were best friends for over two years. You were (allegedly) inseparable. In face, you find several old letters and e-mails from this person that vaguely indicate you may have even shared a brief romantic relationship. But something happened between you and this individual when you were 27, and the friendship abruptly ended (and apparently, you never told anyone what caused this schism, so it remains a mystery to all). The friend moved away soon after the incident, wholly disappearing from your day-to-day life. But you have no memory of any of this. Within the context of your own mind, this person never existed. There is tangible proof that you deeply loved this friend, but — whenever you look at their photograph — all you see is a stranger. Six weeks after your accident, you are informed this person suddenly died. How sad do you feel?

So we’re going to pretend those ages in this question are ages I’ve already reached. Which would mean I’ve suddenly jumped from 21 to 30, so I’m already disliking this question. Then, not only have I missed out on nine years of my life, but I’ve suffered a serious, amnesia-causing accident that made me forget five years of my life (which I guess would mean I only really missed out on four years), and a once-close friend died.

I REALLY dislike this question.

In any case — would I be sad? How sad would I feel?

This is me, I get sad over television shows. I cry at cute, cheesy moments in movies. So, yes, I will be sad because, although I cannot at all remember this person, I have mementos that indicate we were close and had a good friendship. And while I can’t imagine not being sad about a former friend dying, even if we did have a falling out and weren’t speaking and maybe even hated each other, this memory-less me has no recollection of that. For all I know, we just drifted apart. Therefore, I think I’d be more likely to be sad than I would be had I not suffered this crazy blow to the head.

Strangely enough, I might actually be sadder than I would have been if I hadn’t lost my memory because the one person who could help me regain those missing memories would be gone. That dead friend is the one person who knows what happened between us, and he or she could have answered all the questions I had and given me a piece of my life back. When this person died, all those memories died with him or her, and in this situation, that would be like having a part of myself die.

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