Conversation #1.

“Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Yeah?”

“Have you ever been ashamed of something you’ve done, or said?”

“Well, yes. Hasn’t everyone?”

“I haven’t.”

“You mean you’ve never done anything you wish you could take back, never said anything hurtful that causes you embarrassment when you’re looking back in retrospect?”

“It’s not that. It’s just that I don’t feel embarrassment.”

“I can’t believe that. You’re denying being human.”

“Well, it’s not that either. I’ve chosen to forgive myself, or at least try to.”

“So you’re ashamed, but by dint of not wanting to be, you’ve pretended to be the opposite?”

Pretending is such a harsh word. It’s inherently derogatory. Like lying.”

“You’re saying the word lying shouldn’t be derogatory?”

“Well, truth isn’t all it’s thought to be. Sometimes we need more than that. Sometimes we deserve more than that.”

“More than truth? So you’re saying you’re hiding the truth of past embarrassments, past experiences from yourself, in order to…what? Acheive what end?”

“The thing is, it’s easy to forget to acknowledge something. It’s simple to push something to the back of your mind and try not to think about it. I keep my memories, save them.”

“Oh. So you can let yourself learn from them. You can cause yourself pain with them. Knowledge from pain. Schadenfreude?”

“Schadenfreude? Not exactly. Memories can only cause you pain if you allow them. And besides, I want to believe…”

“What?”

“I want to believe that they’ll come a day when I’ll be stronger.”

“Stronger than what?”

“I want to believe they’ll come a day when I’ll be stronger than the things I want to forget. That I’ll have lived and lost and learnt, and I’ll have the will to forget their importance.”

“Can you really do that?”

“You think I can’t?”

“No, it’s just…it’s just that it sounds much too ideal. Much too good to be true.”

“You don’t trust anything, do you?”

“Not anymore.”

“Well, that’s exactly my point. Someday you will, though.”

“I’ll trust again?”

“Yeah.”

“I wouldn’t bet money on that.”

“Who has won our last five bets?”

“You have. But hey, you’ve only won four. That business with the macaroni doesn’t, doesn’t count.”