Author : Aiza Mohd

A singular moment during which your eyes, your nose, your mouth, every feature of your head all simultaneously forget who they are and what they are doing and have a mini existentialist explosion.”

My handwriting is childlike after my reconstruction; I hold the pen with all my fingers, as though writing with an icicle. It has been two days, but I suppose these things take time every time. Even my memory, the sole motivation behind my reconstruction, is still wispier than a cirrus cloud: I would have forgotten many of the details of my self had TANYA not provided me with the form that I had filled out prior to the procedure. Here is what it reads:

“Name before procedure: Roger Clarke Hill
Name after procedure: CLARKE
Date of birth: December 04 1982
Address: Number 61, Ingleside Drive, Whitlock, Kent CT9 H1Z.
Occupation: (Retired) meteorologist
Name of sponsor: Lance Stanley
Occupation of sponsor: Comedian
Address of sponsor: Greenglade Wood Lodge, Winona Road, Dungreen, Cornwall TR29 A2N.
Date of birth of sponsor: May 02 2021”

And so on, and so forth.

It seems peculiar to me that the form should be so equally divided between my details and my sponsor’s details. It would be unnecessary to remind me of my sponsor, indeed – no degree of mental ageing could make me forget the moment my daughter Alice walked in with the legendary comedian Lance Stanley, who told me he was going to finance my reconstruction. The international media exploded – I am, or was, after all, just a nobody.

And of course, I was especially baffled when Stanley told me of his only fee for the deed … Come to think of it,

An experience which reminds you that you know nothing, absolutely nothing, about life.”

That seems an accurate description.

This journal was given to me by Stanley, as an instrument on which I am to record the findings of his ‘ultimate experiment in humour’. I am to write down my own definitions of each new sensation I experience as a newly reconstructed man. He also requested some occasional rambling typical of a personal diary on the side.

It seems more grotesque than funny to me, the thought processes of a grown individual stumbling about life as though he had no memory of ever having lived before, though perhaps because of firsthand experience. Well, when expressed in that manner, it seems a bit futile to have undergone reconstruction only to end up as baffled as I was before. A bit like how ladies a few decades my junior hire experts to carve up their ageing faces, only to look frighteningly unreal and certainly not youthful.

But this is all pointless thinking onto paper; a journal is for journalling your daily occupations. I am packing up to spend the weekend at Alice’s house and re-acquaint myself with my grandchildren.

Every time I place a hand on the suitcase, I am fascinated by the flawlessness of the surgeons’ work, and though it is anything but like normal, I feel like it is the same one I always had. Does this make me a different person? In any case,

The act of laying out a summary of you as a person and arranging it, like a game of Tetris, into a compact space in a bid to remain the same person no matter where you go and no matter what happens to you.”

CLARKE or Roger Clarke Hill? When I’ve finished packing I shall think of a way to put this question to Alice.

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