Memory Credit Card
Words By Alexandra Shandrenko, Art By Hailey Brown
The year is 2200 where money is valueless, and memories are priceless. They have become the most valuable currency, traded and exchanged in markets, auctions, and more. People own and carry devices allowing them to store and capture memories, changing and upgrading them into tangible assets—the richer the memories, the wealthier the individual is.
Sasha, a young woman living with five other roommates in her New York City apartment, depressed, finds herself intrigued by this system. When she was little, she had always been fascinated by the idea of sharing experiences. Memories were the ultimate form of connection. Now she rolls her eyes when the silly memory comes to her. She’s walking through the Memory Market on an early Sunday afternoon, and as she approaches one of the booths, she notices a distant figure in a dark coat. The figure seems to radiate an aura of mystery, one that scents the air with forgotten tales and hidden recollections. She goes to approach the figure. As she gets closer, Sasha realizes that it‘s an older man with more warts on his face than features. He has something tucked away under his coat, and when she approaches him, he cautiously reveals it. The man tells her that what he holds in his hands is a device that able to extract memories from the deepest parts of someone’s mind.
Intrigued, Sasha decides to trade some of her most cherished memories for the strange device. She watches as the man clicks on the machine and sees shimmering memories transfer from her mind to the device. The man then transfers those memories to himself before handing her the device and walking away.
With her newly found and totally safe device, Sasha goes around exploring the market, carelessly trading tales of love, adventure, and heartbreak. She loves immersing herself in the lives of complete strangers, which is probably why she’s gullible enough to approach one and give away significant parts of herself. The market has become a garden of shared experiences to her, where she values each memory not just for its richness, but because it gives her new connections. She also learns of the system’s fragility.
She learns while some people hoard their memories for wealth, others cling to the past, grasping onto nostalgia and ignoring the present. Despite what others will think of her and the deal with the strange, ugly man, Sasha believes in the value of shared memories over the wealth of richer ones. In a world where memories are currency, Sasha makes every exchange of human connection valuable, receiving a wealth of diverse experiences that are priceless.