Author: Chris Bullard

Damn, now I’ve forgotten what I was saying, but it’ll come to me, eventually.

Well, when you get to be my age, I suppose you have to expect the occasional “senior moment.” I thank God that my mind can still operate at a reasonable level of efficiency after eight decades of neurological wear and tear.

I’m afraid that I’ve lost track of time. We’ve been so busy here that I hadn’t even noticed that it’s gotten dark outside. What time is it? One a.m.? My God, we’ve worked through dinner. No wonder I feel so hungry. Well, as they say, time flies when you’re doing serious work.

And would you be so good to run me a glass of water? I seem to be parched. Oh, look, there’s a glass here already. Anticipated my thirst, Peterson, eh? Well, if you didn’t pour it, who did?

Anyway, I think that my years of intimacy with the ways of the human brain more than makes up for any slowdown in my mental functions. I doubt that any of the younger research fellows would understand how my prior work has lead me almost inexorably to the creation of this machine for the suppression of the sensory stimulus that create memories in humans.

I’ve taken off the tops of skulls and seen inside, Peterson. I’ve stimulated the brains of test subjects with electrical shocks and recorded the effects. I’ve tracked many of what we call “tricks of the mind” to their sources in the cortex. I’m not just a theorist the way so many of our younger colleagues are.

Have you ever experienced déjà vu, Peterson? Yes, I thought so. You see, both of us have had the sensation. It’s surprisingly common. Just now, for example, as we’ve been talking, I had the impression that I’ve already told you all this.

I’ve never believed that déjà vu is just a form of mild temporal lobe epilepsy I know that the current theory is that the phenomena is simply an anomaly in which an epileptic shock causes an enhanced perception of some current event that the memory records as entirely new and singular.

My theory is 180 degrees away from what everyone else believes. What I’ve found in my research is that déjà vu is not the creation of a false memory, but, rather, it is the suppression of a real memory. When the real memory disappears, the feeling of déjà vu is what’s left. I may be an old man, Peterson, but I still can approach a problem in a new and innovative way.

This machine that we’re testing today is the culmination of a lifetime of practice and study. Think of it, Peterson, this machine will allow me to suppress the formation of a particular memory in a test subject and to demonstrate that the suppression results in the phenomena that we call “déjà vu.”

Oh, Peterson, now that I’ve had a chance to think for a few minutes, what I was probably trying to remember to tell you earlier was that I removed the shielding from our sensory stimulus array, so we can’t turn the machine on until we’ve replaced the protective material.

Careful, Peterson, I wouldn’t risk connecting those wires to the memory suppression unit until we’ve replaced the safety shielding. A single electrical impulse might…

Damn, now I’ve forgotten what I was saying.