An Evening with Leonard Shelby

men who forget everything

“So where are you from?” This Norwegian’s mind reset every thirty seconds like in the film, Memento. Abby was patient with him. We were on the island of Hvar at a trendy bar with outdoor seating. Three women at a square table left space for one more.

“Albany and I are from the US and Kaya is Indian,” she told him for the third time. I don’t know if he actually heard her but he took a long drag of his cigarette and enjoyed the effects of whatever drug he had used to lace his nicotine.

Island of Hvar, Croatia

Island of Hvar, Croatia

“That’s an interesting t-shirt,” I was trying to be charming like Abby. The t-shirt had a cartoon naked woman mowing a lawn.

“You’re funny!” said the Norwegian, “where are you from?”
“India, we’re all Indian!” I proclaimed.
“Nah, I don’t believe it! I’ve been to India.”
“Interesting, where did you go in India?” Kaya asked.
“I never went to India! Where are you from?”

“We told you, we all three come from Jamaica.” I said again, sounding annoyed now. Like Leonard did with Sammy Jenkis in the film, I wanted to ascertain the extent of the Norwegian’s brain damage.

“Hahaha,” he took another puff of his cigarette before stroking Abby’s forearm with his two fingers. He looked intently into her eyes. “So lovely lady, where are you from?”

That night Abby and I had short drinks and had long since finished them but Kaya was drinking a mojito and is a lightweight so we didn’t want to rush her but when the Norwegian’s hand went from Abby’s forearm to her leg we both stood up and decided we’d buy Kaya another drink somewhere else.

“Where are you going?” he said in his same monotone voice.
“To the moon,” I replied.

“Hey can I get a cigarette first?” he gestured toward Kaya’s Marlboro Lights. The best thing to do when a robber is after you is to throw your purse behind him so he will have to turn around to get it and you can run away. Kaya did this with the cigarette and we were all three stunned by this man’s slow reaction time. He finally stood up off the bar stool, got down on the floor. At the foot of a statue of the Venus he looked up, facing it, cigarette in hand, and said “so where are you from?”

– Albany Eden


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