November 27, 2005

The other day I read about this man who woke up at the end of the subway line in Coney Island with no idea who he was. At the police precinct, they thought he was on drugs, but doctors diagnosed amnesia. It was a rare form - the kind you see in movies - where you remember places and how to eat and function, but have no memory of your life. Your entire past, friends and relatives - all erased.

Does it get any better? I wish I could get amnesia. I can't think of anything I'd like more than to wake up one day with no recollection of my life or who I am. Especially if it was the kind of amnesia that comes out of the blue. Not the kind that comes from a car accident or blunt instrument to the head, or anything remotely painful. I wouldn't want to wake up in hospital. I'd prefer to wake up in Notting Hill. With no ID and a suitcase full of cash.

Here's why I'd love to have amnesia: I'd forget I was self-obsessed and wouldn't have the grief of hating myself. I'd forget I'm turned off by certain random expressions and this would open up a whole new world of dating possibilities. For instance, I went out with a guy who was hot - right up until he said: "Let's catch up and mustard." I wasn't attracted to him after that. But if I had amnesia, I could even go out with guys who thought Woody Allen was boring because I'd forget that's a deal-breaker.

I'd forget Jude Law cheated with the nanny and I could go back to believing there is such a thing as true love. I'd forget I had concerns about being seen naked, and I could have sex with the lights on - or during the day.
I'd forget the world is awash with bad porn and then would be able to coo things like "Ooooh, baby" without feeling like a cliche.

I would never have to worry about running into someone I didn't want to see, like an ex I needed to avoid because I'd stalked him when he didn't call. I'd forget I was a slob, and clean my apartment. I'd forget I hate the gym, so I'd work out. I'd get invited to parties. I'd forget I was unsociable and just go.

I was recently diagnosed with rosacea, and ever since I've been obsessed with my complexion, which of course has made it 20 times worse. If I had amnesia, I wouldn't care: instead of having a stressful skin condition, I'd just assume I had lovely rosy cheeks.
And what about love at first sight? I'd have no recollection of the guys who, once I got to know them, turned out to be a jerk or a flop in bed. If our eyes met again across a crowded room, I'd be in a Groundhog Day loop of lust and anticipation.

I keep thinking about the guy who developed amnesia. It's got to be tough on his girlfriend and family. That's why I'm a perfect candidate:if I had amnesia, most people in my life would be relieved.