The Moving Finger
Excerpt from the court reporter's log, Leena Pagang et al vs MA Kavanagh, 3 September 2038. Ms FitzBrien "Dr Edelhart, you testified that if you were to undergo the Replay Therapy, you would lose three years of memories, correct?" Dr Edelhart "Yes, if my three-year old recording were used, that would be true." Ms FitzBrien "You also said - and here I quote - 'I would essentially have lost three years of my life', is that correct?" Dr Edelhart "Yes. Our memories make us what we are." Ms FitzBrien "I see. You're married, are you not, Dr Edelhart?" Dr Edelhart "No, I'm divorced." Ms FitzBrien "Ah, that's right - that happened quite recently, didn't it?" Dr Edelhart "The final decree was signed last June." Ms FitzBrien "How many children do you have?" Dr Edelhart "I don't see what this has to do..." Mr Esquibel "Objection, your honor. This line of questioning is irrelevant." Judge Chisum "Overruled, for now. The witness will answer the question. And Ms FitzBrien? Make your point." Ms FitzBrien "Yes, your honor. Dr Edelhart?" Dr Edelhart "I have two girls and a boy." Ms FitzBrien "And your youngest daughter was born two years ago, correct?" Dr Edelhart "Yes." Ms FitzBrien "If you underwent replay therapy today, would you still be married to your ex-husband?" Dr Edelhart "No, of course not." Ms FitzBrien "Would your two year old daughter cease to exist?" Dr Edelhart "Don't be absurd!" Ms FitzBrien "Would all of your work disappear, and all of the time spent with your children? Would you disappear from the memories of everyone who knew you for those three years, Dr Edelhart? And would your body be physically three years younger?" Dr Edelhart "No." Ms FitzBrien "Then you would not really lose three years of your life, would you, Dr Edelhart? You would simply lose the memory of those three years." Dr Edelhart "That's not what I..." Ms FitzBrien "Thank you, Dr Edelhart. No further questions." Judge Chisum "Redirect, Mr Esquibel?" Mr Esquibel "Thank you, your honor. Dr Edelhart, were you attempting to agree just now with Ms FitzBrien's last statement?" Dr Edelhart "No sir, I was not. Ms FitzBrien was quite correct in pointing out that none of the things I had done for the last three years would be changed if I were to undergo Replay Therapy. I would still be legally divorced, and the mother of a two year old, or so I assume...I am not a legal expert. But the person who lived those three years would not exist. "As I pointed out earlier, every new experience affects those that have gone before, and how we view them, to a greater or lesser degree. A father who buries a son will remember that son's childhood with a special intensity, in a way he would not if the son had lived. Moreover, he will regard other men's sons in a different light. A woman who marries and bears a child is changed by the experience - for her, the rest of her life will be divided between the time she had her first child, and the time after. And the soldier, who has witnessed and participated in the destruction of life, will never view life in the same way again. "So it is with all of the Replay Therapy patients. The men and women they became have dissolved, along with the memories they lost." Mr Esquibel "Thank you, doctor."