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I Am NOT a Mnemonist!

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"I am NOT a Mnemonist!" Henry threw both arms up and walked more quickly away from his son, Abe. His loud denial caused Abe to momentarily cringe and stop walking. Undaunted, however, Abe quickly resumed walking and caught up with his father just as he reached the top of the stairs. Henry rolled his eyes and shoved his fists against his hips when Abe blocked his departure.

"J-just listen to this, listen," Abe urged him. Henry released a sigh and closed his eyes, tilting his head to the side while Abe held up a ten-year-old copy of a defunct magazine entitled 'Modern Day Psychology'.

"According to this article, a Mnemonist is someone who can remember and recall unusually long lists of data like unfamiliar names, lists of numbers, book entries, etc."

Henry sighed again and turned around to head back into the living area. He plopped back down into the straightback chair near the fireplace, crossed his legs and clasped his hands in his lap.

"You do that!" Abe declared, pointing at him. He lowered the magazine but still held onto it.

Henry rolled his eyes up at his son and fixed a tired gaze on him. "That publication needs to be placed back into the dust bin along with your unsupported conclusions. For the record, I simply remember certain things from time to time --- "

" --- in great and minute detail," Abe finished for him. He retook his seat on the opposite side of the fireplace and perused the article again. "It says here that 'the duration of superior retention' --- he paused to grin and point at his father again --- "can be minutes, hours, days, or decades. Mnemonists may have superior, innate ability to recall or remember or --- he paused again, frowning at the wording. He chuckled before continuing. "Says a technique called 'the Method of Loci' might be used, as well." He lowered the magazine to his lap. "Method of Loci," he repeated. "Sounds like some crazy comic book stuff."

"Precisely," Henry concurred, uncrossing his legs. "You're trying to make me out to be some sort of ... mentalist." His clasped hands seemed to fight against each other as he half-released the grip at times, only to tighten it in the next instance.

"You say that as if it's a bad thing," Abe said, frowning. "The fact is, you remember everything you've ever seen."

"I do not --- " Henry crossed his legs again and pulled his lips in. Then, after regaining a bit more of his composure, he said, "The fact is, is that I have lived a long time and I recall only certain things, Abraham. Not everything. That would be impossible even for someone with that affliction you're reading about."

"Affliction?" Abe repeated, astonished. "Why does anything extraordinary or rare like this or your condition have to be an affliction?"

"What would you call it?" Henry challenged.

"A gift," Abe replied. "Pure and simple. There are millions of people who'd love to have either of these so-called afflictions." Seeing his father's sudden expression of concern, he quickly added, "No, not me. I'm perfectly okay with who and what I am." He raised his eyebrows a bit and pulled the corners of his mouth down in a reverse smile. "Although, I have to admit it would make life easier to have a movie-screen memory like yours."

"Abe," Henry drew out with a wry chuckle. "Don't sell yourself short. You have always done well in life without the aid of any gimmicks or enhanced abilities." He unclasped his hands and placed them on his knees as he leaned back in his chair. "I'm sure that even you have found that if one lives long enough, what was old will be new again. And it's only natural when something like that occurs, it will trigger a memory."

"Ahhh ... I guess so," Abe reluctantly agreed. "Only you've got a lot more triggers than anybody else."

The landline phone rang and Abe said that it must be Jo. Henry rose to answer it and spoke only for a few moments before hanging up. "Yes, that was Jo," he said as he walked over to the coat rack, plucked his jacket and scarf from it and put them on. "She called earlier about another murder victim." Satisfied with the placement of his scarf, he smiled at his son and said, "She's waiting outside in her car. Don't wait dinner for me. I'll be at the morgue with our latest victim til late." With that, he walked over to the stairs to descend them but Abe (not willing to drop his assertion that his father definitely had the abilities of a Mnemonist), stopped him with a question.

"Say, Pops, did you have such great memory recall before you, eh, you know," Abe said, windmilling his hand around, searching for a word. For the sake of expediency, Henry decided to help Abe along.

"Before my transformation?"

"Yeah, that."

A sly glint twinkled in his eyes and he replied, "I, ah, don't remember." An ear-to-ear grin pulled onto his face as he trotted down the stairs and out of the shop.

"Hmphf! Wise acre," Abe grumbled.