Monday, 14 May 2012

The Yin and the Yang of Enhanced Emotional Memory

 I have the ability to recall events from my life in almost cinematic detail. There's just one catch. I have to be at the extremes of emotion to do this.

This is called Enhanced Emotional Memory. 

Good thing or bad thing? 

You decide.

The Yang (1996)

We have stood facing the ruins of the Roman Forum, near Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II in the ancient part of Rome. We have walked around all day. I have exhausted every conversation at least twice. There is NOTHING left to talk about.

I am in love with this 16 year old girl that I met at a mutual friend’s party several months ago in Milan. I can feel my stomach flipping in knots and tangles. Butterflies really doesn’t describe it. I lack the courage to try and kiss her, fearing rejection or worse. I cannot bring myself to tell her how I feel.

Small talk has dried up like puddles in the sun and we stare out over the ruins of the city. It’s October but still warm. It’s 9pm and she has to go back to the apartment of some friends very soon. I know I will hate myself if she returns to Milan tomorrow without me telling her how I feel. I feel the warm air on my face. I see the shadows playing on hers. I do not know what to say. I am desperate to kiss this girl and tell her just how much I love her, have loved her for months and am crazy about her.

Finally my courage kicks my cowardice over the balcony into the ruined forum. I decide on an option with a failsafe opt out. I decide to give her a friendly hug and that way if she rejects it I can always say “I wasn’t trying anything”.

I turn to her, my heart is racing. I look at her, she is looking away from me. I open my arms, they feel heavy, like bar bells after too many reps. I say “thank you for coming to Rome.” She instantly melts into my embrace and puts her head on my chest and her arms around me. I pause, her body fits against mine like a glove. I hold her. I can feel the warmth of her body against me. She is shorter than me and her long, curly brown hair is against my chest. I continue to hug her, not wanting this moment to end. I think to myself “if she pulls away now, then she just wants to be friends and I’m just some interesting but cool older guy she likes”. She continues to hold me and after a few seconds (I daren’t breathe) I think again “ok, she could still pull away NOW and she could still just want to be friends”. She continues to hug me and I finally realise that she feels the same way. My heart is pounding. I realise I’m going to have to push her away to kiss her and as I pull from her grip I reach down and kiss her mouth softly. Her lips are soft and although she’s clearly not kissed anyone before, her tongue is gentle. I had a big speech prepared but all I manage to stammer is “I love you”.

She says nothing and I’m momentarily crestfallen. I ask “this was so difficult for me do you believe me?”

She mishears me and says into my chest “yes, I love you”.

We hold each other for what seems a very long time and she kisses my chest and we walk back to her apartment in the warm Rome evening. I remember nothing of the journey, just her smile, the long curls in her gorgeous, long hair and the knowledge that she loves me too. Her purple, hand made cardigan moves as she walks and after we finally kiss goodbye at 1am, arranging to meet the following morning, I walk the 5 miles home to St.Giovanni, without feeling anything other than elated, ecstatic and in love.

The Yin (1987)

The woollen penis flies past me. Hurled by Trevor. He thinks I’ve got a bent knob and has hilariously made a woollen willy in sewing class. He ran up to me at lunch break when I was on Prefect duty and showed it to me. I knew he’d attack me if there was no teacher in the class when we came back for afternoon register but the alternative was to stay away, hiding from someone that everyone else isn’t afraid of. A vile little shit who is the whipping boy for the harder kids and who then takes it out on me.

It misses and James picks it up. “Give that to me so I can throw it back!” I demand and James throws it to Trevor and replies “I give it you he’ll hit me” which gets a laugh from 4 or 5 other people. This was obviously planned and others knew he’d do it.

He throws it again, a look of perverse, vicious anger and hatred on his face. I’ve done nothing to provoke him. We haven’t even spoken in days but he clearly wants to hurt someone. This time it hits me and I pick it up. “I fucking dare you to throw that back Manley” he sneers at me. I throw it as hard as I can. There’s a look of disbelief on his ugly fucking face as it hits him and he picks it up off the floor, seething with rage. A cheer goes up from what sounds like a lot of the class because I dared to retaliate.

He picks it up and walks towards me. I stand up. The majority of lads in the class are smiling, looking forward to a punch up. He stands in front of me and slaps the woollen willy across my face. He has an almost psychotic look on his face. I don’t deserve this. I did nothing. What the fuck did I do?!!

“Your turn” he snarls and I snap. However, I can’t fight and can only wrestle. I had my fighting instincts neutered when I was about 4 so as angry as I am (and believe me I wan to kill the little cunt!) I grab him around the neck and wrestle him down, screaming “I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!!!” He kicks like a fish on a line and we whirl around. Kids scatter as desks and chairs go flying. “GET OFF!!” he shouts angrily in a muffled voice, his hideous face smothered in my blazer.

Tracy, sits there looking bored at the whole thing and says airily “aren’t they immature!” just as I propel him backwards. We both come down on top of her, squashing both her boobs and she wriggles free and stands there yelling at us.

I still have my grip on his scrawny neck. I sooo want to break it and paralyse the cunt but don’t have the strength or the power or the ability. “Let go of my neck or I’ll fucking kill you” he shouts, unable to break free but furious at being humiliated like this. If I’d had any common sense I’d have repeatedly pounded the festering cunt’s face into the floor until his nose was driven into his brain…but again I can’t fight. He begins punching me over the top of his own head, his ring catching my head. I feel my grip slipping and I let go. He jumps up and I quickly get to my feet.

Suddenly. Once. Twice. He punches me in the nose with his right fist and I feel the blood run down into my throat. I wonder if he’s broken it. He smiles at me and is clearly loving the pain he’s causing me. “You want some more?!!” he shouts and I yell back “YEAH!!!” and pin him against the wall. Realising he can’t get me to back off he simply bear hugs me and I try to knee him in the nuts while pinching the skin on the back of his neck. Oh why Lord can’t I punch?!!

Suddenly I’m propelled backwards and I see Jason staring angrily at me. “Break it up” he says and then lets me go.

Trevor looks victorious but the dubious looks from the others quickly make him realise this wasn’t the “who’s the Daddy” display he had so hoped to put on.

“Ready to make up now are we Manley?” he says in a mimicking tone. I stick the two fingers of my right hand up at him in a “fuck you” gesture, and a lot of people laugh. One or two go “ooOOooh”.

“The only reason I’ve let you off Manley is that the Head said he’ll suspend us if we get caught fighting again”.

“Fuck you, you little shit!” I seethe in frustration and rage. “Least I’ve got a prick!”

“Yeah, BENT!!!” he shouts back. “Don’t cry Manley”.

Five minutes later the substitute teacher enters the classroom to take the register. He fails to notice the disarray or my bloody nose.

So, EEM. Good or bad? You decide.


  1. Handy if you wanna write a book?

  2. Come on back to iG's Lance.
    Love your writing BTW
    I got into too many fights when younger mainly due to my older brother.


Your turn to speak...
Feel free to disagree but insults and insinuations
will get your comment deleted.