One day, Edna Lloyd woke up and found that she didn’t exist.
It was a little strange for her, as she was quite used to existing. In fact, she had existed a whole lot; as one of the few Ednas who were younger than 60, her name alone got her a good deal of recognition. Her job as a barista with an art history degree, though not uncommon, also gave her a good deal of existence. People tended to recognize her on the street after buying only a single cup of coffee from her years ago.
And yet, when she woke up, no one remembered her.
“Hi, Ms. Callahan!” Edna said to her next-door neighbor that morning, a divorced mother of two who was always smiley despite screamy babes in arms.
“Do I know you?” Callahan said. “What are you doing in that apartment? Nobody lives there.”
Edna nervously laughed it off. Ms. Callahan did have a warped sense of humor from a steady diet of Boomerang and Cartoon Network after all.
At the back door to Stubb’s Coffee, though, Edna began to get a little worried. Harry, the manager and barista-in-chief, wouldn’t let her in. “I’m sorry, this entrance is for employees only,” he said firmly..
“But I am an employee! I’ve worked here for five years!” Edna cried. “Look, I’m wearing the uniform and name tag! I work the eight to three with Sharise!”
Harry did not budge. “Sharise works the eight to eleven alone,” he said. “I really need to hire someone for it, but not someone who obviously works for another Stubb’s.”
“I’m sorry,” Harry said. “Much as I need the help, this is kind of creeping me out. You need to go.”
Edna wound up sitting on the curb in her Stubb’s uniform, vainly crying out to people she recognized. She had a good memory for faces, one that had served her well for barista tips and art history statuary exams alike.
Only one person responded. Dressed in a chic suit, he nevertheless had every visible part of his body covered in menacing-looking gangland tattoos. “You having a problem, miss?” he said. “Everybody forgetting that you exist today?”
Though his appearance was menacing, his voice was soft-spoken and kind. And, on closer inspection, Edna could see that the tattoos were done in a gangland style they read “Enlightenment,” “Information,” “Culture,” instead of “Neva Die,” “Thug Lyfe” or “Blips 4 Eva.”
“Yeah,” said Edna.
“It happens,” he said. “It’s not common, the memory prion, but it’s voracious. You’ll be seeing a lot of selective amnesia before the day’s out.”