This is for those of you who never forget your fellow man.
I can't remember what used to be me. Oh, but it is certain I can remember others I used to be. Some days I am a young girl, finding her very first stuffed friend in the marketplace. Other days I become a powerful aristocrat, watching his estates from an ivory tower. But these are just the fleeting absentminded droppings one sees every day.
When I pick through the older albums, I have a few that keep me coming back to them. A blind man, seeing light for the first and last time. Another first kiss. A boy being sent to war, waving goodbye from the boxcar to his weeping family. Sometimes, I can almost see them for who they were, but then the lights dim and the feelings pass me by.
My favorite memory is the first that I know might not belong to another, before I forgot how to forget. They are the lost recollections of a young man, eager, intelligent. There is endless opportunity and bounty lain before him, and he is all too able to take it for himself.
I watch him for many years, as he grows from a small boy to a man. I feel his joy, and his pain. But he always wished to know more. Even with access to all the worlds knowledge, he still yearned for more. So, when he sees he cannot know everything, the man is troubled.
Some of the memories get fuzzy around here, since we weren't exactly thinking straight. I believe the man became despondent, locking himself in a remote wing of the Library and reading everything he could get his hands on. The piles of books grew around him, rotting as he discarded them for other texts.
Soon, he lost his prominence within the Library, and descended into a myth. The reading man, who devours knowledge without satiation. Many patrons came and went, hearing the legend and seeing it as just that. A legend.
Then one day, something peculiar happened. The reading man, engrossed in his text as he was, put his book down and looked up. He had read them all. But he did not yet know everything. The reading man was horrified. How could it be, he thought, that he had read every piece of literature that could have ever existed, and still not know every thing there was to know?
Then he knew. He could not know everything if knowledge was still being made. Other patrons had, foolishly, taken their knowledge and shared it with the outsiders. As long as new knowledge could be created, no man could have it all.
I cannot say what he did next, for it is irrelevant in our new age. But it took him arduous months to creep to the very center of the Library, and release terrible forces into the halls. This was a time before the Rediscovery, when we were not as prepared for an attack. After all, what monster destroys a library?
We know better now.
In time, the forces were made to return to their cages, and the beast who had released them suffered the consequences. They knew he sought all knowledge, so they stripped him of his mind and cast him into a deep pit. Some say he crawled out, but remained a mindless beast, prowling the halls at night. But, this is not true.
I am the one who remembers what falls between the walls, the purveyor of the lost memories. I have seen the lives of every man and woman, and my collection grows every day. I will keep them in albums, and sometimes I may relive the lives of the countless.
I am the keeper of what cannot be remembered.
I will never forget.