Memories

She says she studied at Yale, but it’s so hard to believe her when I remember it so vividly.

I met Kodi just a few months back. She was sitting in a café with a copy of Lord of the Rings on her table – or was that me? I was wearing a bright purple sweater and I approached her and took the book of the table while I made a joke about never having heard about it. I’m not really sure if it was a joke. And I’m not really sure if it was me or her that said it.

“Tolkien, what a strange name.”

It’s confusing, this amalgam in my head. There’s somewhere a dent in the conversation.

“Yeah,” she said. “Don’t you know him?”

“Not really,” I said. “Is he new?”

I laughed and looked at her face and the tight purple sweater.

“You’re kidding me, right?” I said. “You don’t know Lord of the Rings?”

“Never heard of it,” she said.

She placed the book back on the table and sat down on the chair opposite mine.

“I’m Kodi,” I said.

“I’m Kodi,” she said.

But I’m not Kodi. This is wrong. I’m Alex. And why is my picture on her driver’s license; or is that her name on my license? I remember we got them the same day.

We hit it off straight away. We laughed a lot. She was so goofy, or maybe I was. Always a strange joke in the back pocket and I laughed like crazy about those. She visited me in my dorm at Yale. I remember how she wore the same purple sweater and joked about how tiny the room was and that it was probably always same-sex roommates so they could find out who is gay.

I sat in those classes. I was in the seminars. I remember writing the last exams, and then I remember her telling me about the last exams and then I remember watching her on stage, shaking the dean’s hand and waving the certificate in the air.

We always seem to dream the same things. It’s the dreams. It’s definitely the dreams. That’s why I put the alarm for every fifteen minutes, so that I don’t get into REM sleep; so that I don’t get into the dreams.

But it just makes it so hard to concentrate; to think; to remember what is mine and what is hers.

This morning I tried putting on the purple sweater from my shelf, but it shrunk in the wash and so I threw it out.

I remember choosing the apartment. I took it because of the large windows and the bright wood on the floor and because I imagined that I could bring many friends up here and we could have pajama parties.

And now instead she’s here and I don’t have friends over because I’m worried that I’m not sure whether they are mine or hers.

“Kodi and Kodi invite you to…”

She got a job a few days ago. A large law firm not far from here. She told me about the interview and she went there and got second round. But I saw the letter and I opened it because it said Alex on top. I remember how she told me about her interview at JB & Partners and I practiced the interview questions with her and then she went – and now the letter says my name.

I think she’s as confused as I am. The letter was on the kitchen table for two days because neither of us dared to open it.

I just wasn’t sure whether I’m Alex or whether my mind is tricking me again.

We talked about it yesterday. We both had memories about both of our parents. Memories. Actual memories.

It’s like, they are switching from one of us to the other. Replacing each other. She says she doesn’t know why that is happening, but sometimes I wake up and I see her crouching over me, watching me. And so sometimes I watch her at night, just to make sure she isn’t playing any tricks on me.

I can’t say anymore what’s her memories and what’s mine. I can’t have four parents and I can’t have known hers. Just which are hers?

All the photos are gone. ALL the photos, print and digital. I can’t find either of us on Facebook. Why?

Last week we were shopping and then we fought over who should pay and I pulled her card out of my wallet and she entered her pin, but I knew the pin too. The pin for Kodi’s card is 8849. Why do I know that? Is that her memory stolen by me or mine stolen by her?

I can’t leave her. I just can’t. I know I should, but I don’t remember any friends. My parents are dead and she grew up in foster homes and hasn’t seen her parents for at least two decades.

Or was that also me? I remember my foster mom beating me, but I’m just not sure whether I had one. If Yale is hers then my parents must be hers too, otherwise I’d never had made it there, right?

Do the intense memories jump first or last? Is shaking hands with the dean her or my memory?

A few days ago I asked my neighbor and she laughed and said that we’re both weird, Alex and I, that we keep asking her such questions. The next day she called me Kodi, if that’s really my memory.

I don’t know whether any of this is intentional; whether she’s doing this to me – or I’m doing this to her and just don’t remember.

Of Lord of the Rings the first two volumes say “Kodi” and the third says “Alex” in the front cover.

I don’t remember reading it. Was I the one talking to her?

Sometimes I wake up and when I go to the bathroom I wonder why I have breasts. And other mornings I’m surprised I have hairy arms and a penis.

Do I remember wondering why I have breasts or hairy arms? Or am I’m shifting from body to body and actually sometimes have breasts and sometimes don’t? Today I’m hairy.

But I can tell you female orgasms are much better. So much deeper. So much more intense. And then you can hug him and he holds you.

Sometimes I think Alex sounds more like a girl’s name. A name I would give my daughter, but not my son. And then I think the same about Kodi and then I curse my parents and I’m not even sure which ones.

I’m not sure if she or he is stealing my body or my memories or both. Or whether I’m the one stealing.

A degree from Yale doesn’t sound so bad. It says Alex on it, so I guess I can just keep it and leave if I want. Maybe I should stab her.

I’m just not sure whether it’s really mine; whether she should be the one running with the certificate.

I remember seeing a knife disappear under the mattress.

If I’m the one stealing I should stay until I’m in her body. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to leave.

And if I leave I’ll have to find someone that can tell me whether I’m Alex.

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