In J-wing, all the hallways look alike

The human memory has limits. Cascades, they’re called. Learn too many faces, and the sight of one will trigger images of all of them. Too many songs, and your head never gets quiet. Eventually, you go mad. People with the most perfect recall, the Mems, don’t last long. Even the blank routine of J-wing only gives them a few more years.

I knock on Kevin’s door, same as always. “It’s Nurse Garcia.”

“Come in.” He’s on the bed, a long-legged splotch between four white walls, white floor, white ceiling.

“Need anything?” I ask, same as always.

He shakes his head. “I’m fine. Last time, your left shoe was scuffed. Your hair was damp.”

Your glasses were crooked. Your shirt was too small and your wrists stuck out all brown and bony. You smiled four times. I also recall the last visit perfectly. I’m not a Mem; I just want to kiss this man so much I can’t stand it. And saying these things would be awfully obvious, even to someone raised in a featureless white cube.

So I nod, same as always, and close the door.

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