Monday, April 4, 2011

Mental Lacunae

Over the weekend, I went through a stack of data CDs that I never use anymore to see if they had anything valuable on them before sending them to the local landfill. One thing that I found was a letter that I wrote to my sister while she was in the Missionary Training Center.[1] I was in my third semester as an undergraduate at BYU. The crazy thing is that I don't remember either of the events I mentioned in my letter. Not even a little bit! Here are the relevant parts of the letter:
Dear Rachel,

Sorry I haven’t written—I’ve been very busy with finals. But they’re all over now. And I went on my first date this year. Mike set me up with a girl, named Esther, to go see The Two Towers at the dollar cinema. It was kind of weird, though. She’s a Vegan, so we couldn’t get buttered popcorn, chocolate candy, etc. She bought an orange for the movie. Weird. And she wasn’t very talkative.


Did you get the package Mom sent you? I was supposed to give it to my roommate, Ryan, on Sunday so he could take it in on Monday. But Monday, when I went to go to work, I found the package still in my car. So, I’m not sure if he took it in or if he took it home (hopefully the former).

Well, I gotta go. ¡Ă‰chale ganas! [3]

I don't remember going on a date with a Vegan or forgetting about a care package. Perhaps the past version of myself was replaced by a convincing look-alike who wrote spurious documents just to disrupt my sense of continuity with the past.

Perhaps you would like some evidence that this was a forgery? Well, I had a propensity for sneaking things into the dollar theater [4] and I don't even mention what I brought—just what she brought. This is obviously out of character. Second, I went out with a Vegan.[5] Third, that paragraph about the package doesn't even make sense! Why would finding the package still in my car make me unsure if my roommate had delivered it or had taken it home? Neither! It was still in my car! Apparently the impostor wasn't very intelligent. Or perhaps English wasn't the primary language spoken on his planet…


[1] For those who are unsure why Latter-day Saints (Mormons) go on missions, I recommend you visit here and here, where you can learn more about LDS beliefs concerning sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have more questions, ask and maybe I'll do a full post on the topic.

[2] A paragraph on the effects of too much orange juice on a young  missionary has been omitted for your protection—a lacuna in the text, if you will.

[3] In Spanish this roughly means "Give it your all!" But when I looked to see what Google Translate would do with it, it came up with "Check rack up!" Ha!

[4] Some of my more impressive feats have been: 1. a large pizza, and 2. a gallon of milk.

[5] To find out why this was a bad idea, see my post Good Company.

Image attributions:

Page from the Voynich Manuscript is by the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, available at


  1. Hey man. I remember that date! As I recall, the impostor Matt was a pretty cool dude. But you might be right about the intelligence thing... just kidding!

  2. How is movie-theatre buttered popcorn not Vegan? It's not like they use real butter!

    And there's nothing wrong with brining an orange to a movie theatre. That's a great idea.

  3. Markham, I see that you, like I, are critical and skeptical of my past self.