The Right to be Forgotten
Two hours after Mama’s funeral, the Unit Patrol came by for Mama’s Life Memories. Ana made a big show of looking for it, and the Patrol guy tried to affect sympathy, but after twenty minutes of watching Ana rummage around he left without a word and slammed the front door shut. She found a note with the date of his next visit on the kitchen table.
Ana waited another five minutes before fishing out the last bottle of Mama’s real whiskey from behind the stacks of brightly coloured meal bricks. Thanks to Mama’s careful rationing, a quarter of the bottle remained even though it had been twenty years since wheat had gone extinct. Much to Mama’s disgust, Ana preferred the widely available fizzy synthetic fruit wines.
Ana poured out two fingers of whiskey the way Mama used to on special occasions over two frozen plastic cubes. She toyed with the idea of pouring another glass. What did they use to say? Pour one out? But Mama would have hated the waste, so she didn’t. She slid into a chair and unhooked her earrings. She scraped off the little chip with Mama’s Life Memories from the back of the right one.
She popped it into her mouth and took a swallow of bourbon. She tilted her head back as the tiny metal chip that contained her mother’s memories scraped its way down her throat and into her gut. When the Unit Patrol guy returned in two days she could truthfully say it had disappeared.
Ana thought about what it would be like to have no trace of Mama left in the world. She choked the rest of the bourbon down. Mama had scrubbed her social media so that only a few photos remained, no videos. Now that Mama’s Life Memory wouldn’t be uploaded to the Mainframe there was no chance of meeting a Bot that had her smile or used a phrase Mama did. Ana rattled the frozen cubes in the glass. Her memory, made lazy by the ability to playback everything, searched for the sound of Mama’s laugh. Already it was hard.