The Memory Police Quotes in The Memory Police
“But why do they take people away? They haven’t don’t anything wrong.”
“The island is run by men who are determined to see things disappear. From their point of view, anything that fails to vanish when they say it should is inconceivable. So they force it to disappear with their own hands.”
“Do you think my mother was killed?” I knew it was pointless to ask R, but the question slipped out.
“She was definitely under observation, being studied.” R chose his words carefully.
R let out a little gasp of surprise as I rolled up the carpet and lifted the trapdoor.
“Like a cave floating in the sky,” he murmured.
“It’s a bit tight, I know, but at least you’ll be safe here. No one can see you from outside, and there’s not much chance of them hearing you either.”
“You’ll forget you ever had a voice,” he continued. “You may find it annoying at first, until you get used to it. You’ll move your lips as you just did, go looking for a typewriter, a notepad. But soon enough you’ll see how pointless it is. You have no need to talk, no need to utter a single word. There’s nothing to worry about, nothing to fear. Then, at last, you’ll be all mine.”
Just then, three shadows emerged from the house to the east of mine. It was too dark to distinguish their features, but they walked wearily through the snow, backs bent, the Memory Police pushing them from behind, the light glinting cruelly off their guns.
Snatches of my neighbors’ voices could be heard in the dark.
“I had no idea they were hiding people in there,” said the former hatmaker. “Who would have thought it?”
“Seems as though both the husband and wife were in a secret group that help folks like that.”
“I guess that’s why they didn’t get to know anyone in the neighborhood.”
“Look at him. He’s just a child.”
“I think all this crying must be proof that my heart is so weak that I don’t know how to help myself.”
“But I’d say it’s just the opposite. Your heart is doing everything it can to preserve its existence. No matter how many memories these men take away, they’ll never reduce it to nothing.”
“I hope that’s true.”
I looked at R. I needed only to lean slightly in his direction for us to be touching. He raised his hand and brushed away a tear at the corner of my eye with his fingers.
I’d heard rumors that people who had been hiding were forced to wander the streets when their homes were destroyed by the earthquake or the fires that followed it. And that the Memory Police had been rounding them up and taking them into custody one after the other. But I had no way to know whether the Inui family had actually been in that truck or not. All I could do was pray that someone had continued to cut the little boy’s fingernails and that the blue gloves were still protecting him.