Saturday, September 22, 2007

Deseo

Desire.

If the last bits of my memory would fade away, what would I do? Would I look at everything differently? Would not knowing what to call a table bother me? Would there be any remorse left with me? Would it be like speaking a different language? Would it be worth expressing pain in a different language? Would I have any memories of my desires?

Mr. Lim is about seventy years old. He is in my Spanish class for beginners. We are in the early stages, and still at a loss for words. What sets Mr. Lim apart is that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. His motivation, his perseverance confuses me. I want to ask him, will it be worth forgetting it all in a different language?

Deseo, he said the other day, doesn't that mean desire? And Hawaii, doesn't it have active volcanoes? That when he was being helped with his homework. The homework I had forgotten all about. Never before have I felt smaller, like a speck, whining about the memories that I would rather forget. My memories are what make me, I had argued with myself endlessly. My memories attach the relevance to my existence. And that, when I can't remember my best friend's phone number... when I can't remember who my best friend is... when I can't remember which was that one moment that filled me with joy... when I can't remember the how "wonder" feels like...
when I can't remember what I desire...
And yet, like Mr. Lim, perhaps I can't remember the end of my desires...

Hazaaron khwaishein Aisi, ki har khwaish pe dam nikle.
A thousand desires, each one worth a million times to die for.

Its not desires that I lack, I lack lifetimes...