The Rememberer

Plot Summary

"The Rememberer" opens with two characters, Annie, the narrator and her lover, Ben. She introduces the narrative telling the reader that Ben is re-tracing steps in evolution, first turning into an ape and later into a sea turtle.

As the narrative progresses, Annie reminisces on the last days Ben was human. Ben was an intelligent and somber man, one of the reasons Annie fell in love with him as she said "We'd sit together and be sad and think about being sad and sometimes discuss sadness." She recalls that Ben had once told her that they think too much and unknowingly leave emotion aside. "We're all getting too smart. Our brains are just getting bigger and bigger, and the world dries up and dies when there's too much thought and not enough heart." On his last night of human, Annie and Ben make love, and Annie reassures him by whispering into his ear, "see, we're not thinking...we're not thinking at all." Annie wakes up next morning, discovering that Ben has shifted to an ape . As a caring and loving woman Annie takes the time to care for ape Ben.

After Ben has turned into a sea turtle, Annie returns from work one day and discovers that he has again shifted, now into a salamander in the baking pan. Realizing she cannot take any more of this, Annie decides to let Ben go. She releases Ben the salamander into the ocean, hoping that one day Ben will rise from the shore, as the man "who has been to history and back." In the end, she must wait and remember, as she says, "it is my job to remember."

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