Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Mole

He pressed his index finger to her mole.

"There," he said.

She looked down. "What are you doing?"

"Memorizing your identifying marks."


"So I'll be able to tell if they take you away and switch you with somebody else."

She paused. "That's such a you thing to say. Who are they?"

"I don't know. People or entities beyond my understanding."

Years later, while having dinner with his friends, the conversation briefly turned to a movie that, he recalled, he'd first seen with her. He didn't think much of it, and the conversation rapidly drifted elsewhere.

But on the drive home, his thoughts spiraled back to her, and it occurred to him that he didn't remember where the mole was, and he didn't care that he'd forgotten; and therefore the man he'd become was a stranger to the man he'd once been, however much the two men resembled each other. He found the consequent irony almost, but not entirely, too obvious to mark in his mind: in the end, he'd been the one stolen --- from himself --- and switched with somebody else.

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