New Fiction: ‘The Persistence of Memory’ by Pete Miller

Clinicality Press publish and promote new works of fiction and beyond. We’re just starting out in putting out new works on-line in a blog/zine. This is the third posting, and there are lots more exiting pieces on the way. In time, there may be a second anthology, but these things take time and money, and we’re short on both. For now, we’re doing the digital thing.


The Persistence of Memory

Pete Miller

Ever wish you’d done something different? Ever wish you’d done some things differently? Obviously it’s too late for regret, as it won’t change anything and is simply a needless expenditure of energy and there’s less to spare as each year passes but do you? Do you have regrets? A yearning to go back and change things? Or would you play out the mistakes the same anyway: after all, we learn from our mistakes and know not to make them again. Even so, there’s always that small wish to go back, retrace the steps taken in blindness and rectify some of those darker moments those moments, however fleeting, of the most acute embarrassment…  isn’t there? Or is it just me?

I don’t wish to change who I am, or what I’ve ‘become’ – I probably couldn’t anyway, there seems to be an inevitability about the path we tread, and fight circumstance as hard as me might, it feels like a losing battle. People do us over, finance and situations of employment, family, all unwittingly contrive to bring us to the present whatever we do. But don’t you sometimes think ‘what if?’

What if you’d gone what that guy or that girl what if you’d been less spineless in relenting to that push or that, what if you’d not given in so easily when told ‘no’ to that, what if you had applied for this job, that job and the other job? If you’d not given up after the fifteenth knock-back on one career or another, had held on to and fought harder to cling to one dream or another?

Or when you discover that you’re finally able to make progress of sorts? Don’t you wish that you’d been the person you are now a decade ago? Or even fifteen years ago? What would you change? What would you have done differently? What were your dreams? Do you still have any of them now?

And how about the way you look? What would you change? Anything? Nothing? How do you feel about the ageing process? How do you feel now about your childhood? How much of it can you actually remember?

I find that I feel that while my memory is still as good as ever, some recollections are becoming somehow distorted. Or perhaps it’s that I struggle to reconcile them with my adult self.

I don’t miss the lack of responsibility of childhood. I was as repressed as a teenager as I am now. I wish I had evolved differently.  I wish I’d been the person I am now or feel I’m becoming then, ten, fifteen years ago. Don’t you ever wish that? How would you be with the people you knew then if you were how you are now? Were there missed opportunities? Did you not speak when you should have done? Did you say things when you’d have been better not doing? Or simply say the wrong thing? How would you replay it?

I’d replay it all in slow motion and consider my moved for a start. And do it from my perspective now. But there’s no going back… is there?

  1. Bertrand Russell~ Man needs for his happiness not only the enjoyment of this or that but hope and enterprise and change.

    • “weaker talents idealize; figures of capable imagination appropriate for themselves” – Harold Bloom, “The Anxiety of Influence”.

  2. yeah,I just thought you might want to know that your blog is messed up when you view it on my iphone. I?m not sure if it has something to do with my phone?s browser or your website? just saying…

    • Cheers for the heads-up. We’ve had a few issues with font sizing, but it looks fine now on the 2 PCs here, in both IE and Firefox, which means it might be a phone browser thing.

  3. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

  4. Hi just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i?ve landed on your blog in the last 3 weeks looking for completely unrelated things. Great Info! Keep up the good work.

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