“Kathy Remembers” / Memorable Fancies #0123

No one paid attention to Kathy’s version of Kathy. They had their own thoughts of who she was, what she did. It started with her mother, who liked to tell her friends all the bad things Kathy had done at school years ago. Kathy didn’t remember doing any bad things at school, but Mom had seemed so sure – how she’d been naughty at age five, how she’d sat on Old Man Kline’s lap just before the police took him away, and later how she’d failed sixth grade English twice.

Kathy put up with this from her mother, because who was she to argue with Mom? But as she grew up other people invented memories for her, too, most of them unpleasant.

Kathy was looking back over her online posts one day, when she found things she was sure she’d never posted – although the new content seemed harmless – mostly. That week in Hamburg? She was sure she’d never been to Hamburg. Well, Germany once, but that was …. And that problem with the police in Baltimore? At exactly the same time she’d been on the other side of the country, she was sure.

More people begin to follow her blog, then many more. At first it was flattering, but the posts they LIKEd were – things she never wrote. Who had bothered to hack her blog? Still, the attention was gratifying, even a little exciting.

But Kathy was bothered. She began to distrust her mind. She found that she’d had a passionate affair with a has-been actor – but that hadn’t happened, had it? Little by little, she became ever more notorious, argued with, hated, mentioned on unsavory websites. A porn starlet who looked something like her made a salacious film in which she shouted “I’m Kathy do it to me now, baby!” just at the suitable moment.

Various religious sites shook their virtual heads at her shameless life. Kathy felt played with; pushed, pulled, hated.

She wondered: Is this what she’d wanted her life to be? What her past should be – should have been – has now become? Maybe it’s all really happened, what they remembered of me. Who was she to argue?

Yes, she says now, that’s me. I never knew.

00 Seventh Effect front cover small image

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