“Art’s Chicken and Memory Depository” by Tiffany Belieu

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When I stop at Art’s Chicken and Memory Depository I always get the number two. It allows you to deposit for free, and the fries are bigger. 

I haven’t gone anywhere but Art’s since the big fiasco at McMemory where it was found out that they were selling the memories to people for implanting purposes. The little that was recovered by the raids is being kept in Sector custody. You couldn’t even get a copy of the memories back if you wanted to. Nothing is sacred anymore.

When I pull up to the window it’s the usual girl in her white chicken uniform and the hat with the beak. She offers me a stretched-plastic smile.

I have plenty of time in the line leading up to the Removal Window to rifle through the things I want to forget. The fight with my girlfriend last night being at the forefront. 

We haven’t been dating that long. This fight could be considered our “first.” We’ve had little tiffs but this was the first full-on shouting. It’s why, I tried to explain to her, I hate relationships. They always lead to one or two or more people getting hurt. She claimed that if I could just commit to something long term it wouldn’t feel this way. Or at least would be easier to bear. Something about a burden being lessened by two?

At the window I place my consent card and driver’s license in the dish.

“Please enter your time frame on the key pad.”

I enter 8:15 p.m. on the 20th until 9:00 p.m. on the 20th. The fight ended before then but the aftermath confuses me if I don’t remove everything. Even, regrettably, the tender way she nuzzled my neck post make-up sex. 

The machine whirs to life and I am out for less than five seconds. When I come to they are handing me my bag of grease. I murmur thanks and toss it into the passenger seat.

I eat alone in the parking lot before going home. Though the memory is gone the aftermath is rattles inside me. It’s disappointing that nothing changes right away. 

I still always think I’ll feel lighter.

 

Tiffany is working hard on her dream of writing. Her work is published or forthcoming in Okay Donkey, Collective Unrest, The Cabinet of Heed, Rabid Oak and The Mantle among others. She loves tea and cats and can be found @tiffobot on Twitter.

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