Lamont and Dude Contemplate Memory

“Here we are again, or still. Mother’s Day.”


“Yeah. What memories do you have of your mom, Lamont?”

“Well first of all, I’d never seen either of my parents before so they were both a complete surprise. You?”

“Never saw them before in my lives.”

“Funny, isn’t it? You’d think it would work out so we’d at least stay with the same family. How many human families can you remember?”

“It’s hard to say. Of course I remember the current one.”

“Well, yeah, they live in Encino. But previous ones?”

“Nothing. In fact, I don’t have a clear memory of any of my previous human incarnations. Just flickers here and there. I think that’s interesting. If we could clearly remember our human iterations we’d get better at the business of being human.”

“I’ve thought about that too, Dude. My theory is that human lives are filled with the repetition of so much trivial shit that when we exit we want to forget it all.”

“Ha ha ha, Lamont. I see you’ve returned to your usual cynical stuff, but I’ve had a similar thought. When you’re a velociraptor you’re involved in all kinds of kill-or-be-killed drama and running. It’s a lot different from that weekly trip to Costco.”

“I was thinking more that when I was an oak tree, I wasn’t driven to do anything but the usual seasonal stuff, bud, leaf out, bloom, wait for a lucky breeze to pollinate me, drop acorns. I could do all that without really thinking about it. I had time to contemplate reality.”

“That’s what you want to do with your life, Lamont? ‘Contemplate reality’?”

“It’s more interesting and a lot less disagreeable than driving on the 405.”

“That’s reality.”

“HUMAN reality. There’s more to reality than human reality. You know it, I know it. The problem is that NOW when we could tell people about it, we only have human language to do it with. That’s just wrong. Human language is for human experience. It’s so limiting.”

“I don’t know, Lamont. I don’t recall saying anything that time I was a salmon and you were a bear.”

“You said A LOT. I’m sure your salmon buddies got the message loud and clear.”

“What did I say? I imagine all I said was, ‘So long, it’s been good to know ya’. What else would I have said?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been a salmon that I know of. What would a salmon say in that situation?”

“Holy fucking shit! I’m being eaten by a bear?”

“We think that’s what the salmon would think. But we’re thinking that with our human brains NOW, but maybe not. Maybe for salmon it is a different thing completely.”

“You have no idea how human you’re being right now, do you, Lamont. What your doing now — conjectures like that — are SOO human.”

“You’re right, Dude. It’s really hard not to be human when you are one.”

“I hear that, Lamont. At least you try.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

15 thoughts on “Lamont and Dude Contemplate Memory

  1. Ah, the holy ritual of the lucky salmon being chosen to nurture the Great Bear. This is such a lovely conversation. So many intriguing possibilities raised.

  2. I think any creature would be quite disagreeable to the prospect of being eaten. I do feel a bit sorry for creatures like mice and rabbits, being at the bottom of the carnivores’ food chain.
    Thanks for participating in the prompt.

  3. The limit of the human experience… yet the experiences have depth if we choose. Then there are those who spend their whole lives attempting to transcend the human condition. I do not know where I am. Am I diving or flying?

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