An Oral History Of Something You Liked

the problem of fannishness is every oral history of something I liked feels painful because it doesn't result in my perfect eternal union with the thing i liked, people who made it, and everyone else

Do you remember how much you liked it?

AAAA: I remember what you made, and I liked it.

BBBB [pausing briefly]: Good. That’s good.

AAAA: A lot of us remember it, and a lot of us liked it.

AAAA: Is that okay?

BBBB: Yeah. Yeah, that’s fine. We made it a while back.

AAAA: I remember that. Did you know how much everyone was going to remember it, and how much everyone was going to like it?

BBBB: No way. Well, maybe. We liked it, but we didn’t think anyone else was going to like it. We didn’t know how much everybody was going to like it compared to the rest of it. But we knew when we were done making it — we knew that part was magic. We knew it was magic but then we forgot it. But then you remembered, and your remembering made us remember.

AAAA: Do you like and remember it in the same way we like and remember it?

BBBB: I don’t know. I’m not sure. It doesn’t quite seem possible, does it? We made it, you know, and that makes things a little different. It seems important to you that we like this in the same way.

AAAA: Yes.

BBBB: Would you like to talk to someone else who also made it?

AAAA: Yes. Okay.

BBBB: CCCC also made it.

CCCC [distantly, over the phone]: I also made it. I remember the day when we had the idea for it. Right?

BBBB: Oh, right.

AAAA: Did you ever think that we’d be talking about it now?

CCCC: One of us did. One of us thought, this will be remembered, and one of us thought, this will not be remembered, and one of us thought, I am just at work today.

BBBB: But now we like it the same way that you like it.

AAAA: Yes?

BBBB: Yes, now all of us like it and remember it in the same way. Is that enough?

AAAA: Yes, that’s enough.

CCCC: Before we made this, we all met one another.

BBBB: Yes.

AAAA: Is that true? That you met?

BBBB: Yes.

AAAA: And you met one another before you made this?

BBBB: We met first in this place, and then in that place.

DDDD: I also met them, and we had many ideas.

AAAA: Did you like making the idea?

BBBB: Sometimes we knew our ideas. Sometimes we didn’t know our ideas.

AAAA: When I saw your ideas, I knew them. And I need you to know my knowing, and to feel my feeling, and to make it again, and to make it always, and to make it forever, and to make it the same, for everyone, for all times. This cannot only happen to me.

CCCC: We are making it happen for everyone.

AAAA: I liked it.

BBBB: Yes, the idea.

AAAA: I liked it to problems. Now liking is a problem for me, of liking lonely. Why am I not you?

BBBB: You are us now.

AAAA: I am not you enough, because I did not make the idea. Make me your idea. Make me yourselves.

CCCC: I am another idea now.

DDDD: I remember how we made the idea, but we are not making it now.

AAAA: Thank you for your idea, and for your memories of the idea. It is not enough.

BBBB: We are sorry for our idea.

AAAA: What did you expect for your idea? Did you expect me? Did you make your idea because you wanted me?

BBBB: We had the idea.

AAAA: Why did you have the idea? Have the idea again for me now.

BBBB: You already know how we had it.

AAAA: Have it again, but slower, and why.

BBBB: An hour has happened; the phone is finishing. This did not work.

AAAA: You are going away from me and my idea. Everyone who is reading is not you. Make us you next time, please.

CCCC: We are not having ideas now. We are remembering, and going away, and hanging up, and the idea is no good for next time.

AAAA: Okay.

BBBB: Okay.

CCCC: Okay.

DDDD: That was the idea. We did not know it would hurt you, not to be us and our idea.

AAAA: I did not know either. I will go find another idea to become next.