The Magazine

Forget Me Not

How fantasy and truth complicate two lives.

Mar 26, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 27 • By SHAWN MACOMBER
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Anti admits to possessing a cowardice that "can generally be relied upon in any given situation." This attribute acts as an innate self-defense mechanism to keep him from advancing beyond lines, imaginary or otherwise, he is ill-prepared to cross. Unfortunately, en route to the Amnesia Clinic, Anti discovers that Fabian is mixing an all-too-real courage with his self-delusion. Once the boys are off the grid, Fabian descends into an impenetrable and dangerous fantasy world, "showily dodging the obstacles put in his way by reality."

"Didn't you ever wait a few days after buying your lottery ticket before you checked the numbers, just to allow yourself to think you might have won something?" Anti asks Fabian as he gently attempts to reveal the Amnesia Clinic is fiction.

"I don't play the lottery," Fabian answers.

And so the world is encapsulated and divided. Anti's renunciation of the Amnesia Clinic story means nothing to Fabian. Nihilistic survivor guilt and pure desire have transferred ownership of the story into his hands. Anti's naiveté and the callousness of boyhood vie for blame for the ensuing tragedy as he, to his horror, discovers, like Dr. Frankenstein before him, that you cannot always kill the monsters you create. The fantasy is not the same for one as it is for the other.

"Fabian's world was fantastic because it needed to be," Suarez snarls. "What's your excuse?" Call it by the same name, seek it at the same longitude and latitude, it does not matter. An agreed-upon surrender to fantasy often leaves one powerless to earn mercy from reality.

Shawn Macomber is a Phillips Foundation fellow.