Why I Can’t Delete a Digital Moment I Don’t Even Remember

There isn’t anything productive about this, perhaps it’s even the opposite of that. But it fascinated me: writer Jessica Miller very simply and starkly conveys what it’s like when you’re dumped yet she’s doing so in order to examine something more. It’s about memory and perception and technology and ourselves – and it’s about a 34-second audio recording that she includes in her piece:

What you’re hearing might not sound like much, but for me, listening to this clip transports me to a place with weight and dimension and color. It’s mostly me trying to get my microphone-shy boyfriend to talk. To tell me what he feels in this moment when the relationship is new and everything seems right and beautiful. He’s laughing at me because I’m being ridiculous, although he was always a man of few, well-chosen words. And then the kiss. He probably kisses me to get me to stop trying to make him talk. I guess it worked, because that’s where the recording cuts off. But it’s a sound so sweet, and so genuine. In an instant, I smell saltwater, grass, and his shampoo. I feel skin and the late summer air and the feeling of not being afraid to be completely myself in front of someone I care about.

But the thing is, I have absolutely no memory of this even happening.

Why I Can’t Delete a Digital Moment I Don’t Even Remember – Jessica Miller, The Atlantic (29 June 2014)

Now, for some reason I can’t hear her embedded SoundCloud audio track. But I’m okay with that: it’s her story, what she thinks next and now my imagination of what that recording is that engrossed me.