People confuse memory and memorial. I can see why.
I started with her neck; necks are easy, I thought. But I hadn't reckoned on the tiny differences, how a neck can be a tower of ivory one second and a pile of kittens the next. How even the simplest seeming curve is much more complex than a polynomial equation. How it sinks as she inhales, rises as she exhales.
Information is fractal, and I can only fear the fractal design of the dramatic human body. The mind can't handle fractals, too complex. It simplifies - I simplify - I abstract, I idealise. That's no good at all. Idealism is the enemy here. It's the opposite of the clarity this whole process should bring.
Of course, if the human body really is fractal, I'm doomed already. But that's negative thinking. There is hope.
I tried for her fingernails, and had some kind of success. I closed my eyes and drew them on my eyelids. Again and again I performed this exercise, until I had memorised them totally.
Sounds were easier. The voice on the edge of giggles, the tone when slightly repulsed, the sound of flopping into an armchair. Smells were nearly impossible; recalling a smell without a reference takes almost religious practice. But I did it. Months later, I did it.
The Kabbalists sometimes talk of the active world, where things can be changed, and the passive world, where they can't. In Berkeley's terms, the world exists as a thought in the mind of God. Extending the metaphor, the passive world is what exists in the memory of God. Which is another way of saying it doesn't exist anymore.
It worked. Carefully crafted memories overwhelmed reality. Or perhaps reality destroyed idealism. But I was left with a perfect copy of her, memorised to the last hair. And you can't build a mental picture of someone you're in love with. Everyone knows that. There's a modus tollens in there somewhere.
Inspired by a slip of the tongue, where 'memorialise' became 'memorise'. Thanks.