I am looking for a very specific video.
No, not the one you’re thinking of. Not that one either. I doubt you’ve ever seen it. In fact I doubt I’ve even seen it – it may have been a dream, or a false memory pieced together from stray images in the back of my mind.
It’s possible, perhaps even likely when one considers the details of this rare video, that I unconsciously invented or dreamed it’s existence, or that perhaps what I once saw has been grossly distorted by my addled memory and overactive imagination. But though the reality or unreality of the video remains an open question, and it’s existence is perhaps only a slim possiblity, nevertheless I am compelled to seek it out until I have either found it or proven once and for all that it cannot be found. Because this latter option (proving nonexistence) may be impossible, my search may go on interminably, for while I may set the matter aside from time to time when I grow weary of looking, I will always come back to it sooner or later. While by this point all traces of the video may have been wiped from the face of the earth, if it ever existed at all, it is not conceivable that it could ever be erased from my memory.
I am looking for a very specific video. When I first said these words to you your immediate response was to ask the obvious questions. What kind of video is it? Where did I see it? What happens? What’s it about?
I realize my inability to answer these questions must be frustrating, but please don’t chalk it up to some childish, stubborn impulse to be mysterious, to create a false aura around myself and around the video. That’s really not the case. The fact is I can’t answer these questions simply because I don’t know how. As difficult as this may be for you to understand, I’m not sure these questions have answers at all. All I can say is that I’m looking for a very specific video, and if you’d seen it I think you’d know.
I am looking for a very specific video. I say these words, and sometimes someone’s ears will perk up. They bristle, the hair standing up on their arms and the back of their neck, their spine suddenly stiffening. What have I done to them? What memories have I provoked? What videos, real or imagined, are now playing out in their mind’s eye? Could it be the same one I’m looking for? I’d like to think so, but the truth is, this is highly unlikely. Sure enough, when I examine their reaction closely, it becomes clear they are thinking of something else entirely.
Though the video I am looking for is difficult to describe, that is not because it is a vague concept, open category, genre, or kind of video. I am not looking for something similar. I am looking for a very specific video. But though I cannot describe it, it is nevertheless possible to determine what video someone is thinking of by talking with them.
In the expression on their face, in the duration and distance of their haunted gaze, the fidgeting of their fingers, the twitching of their smile and of their eyes – here is where the video is described. If one reads these signs carefully enough, it becomes possible to determine whether or not someone is thinking of the same, specific video. Invariably, and unsurprisingly, they are not.
Why am I looking for this video? What’s the point? It all must seem like a game or a prank to you, to someone who has not seen this very specific video. But if you had seen it, or if you had imagined you’d seen it; if there were any glimmer of a memory, even just a single frame or a thumbnail from this video, then you would never ask this question, “why.” It would be entirely clear to you why someone like me, someone with a memory of this video, would look for it again. But because you have not seen it, I can scarcely explain things further.
So what would I do if I ever found it again, this very specific video? To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’d watch it. I’m not sure that I could handle it – and besides, I wouldn’t want to spoil the image of it in my mind, the memory which is possibly more powerful than the video itself. I wouldn’t want to watch it, but I’d want to show it to a friend.
I wouldn’t share the video with just anyone. I wouldn’t post it on social media for everyone to see. A close friend, someone I could trust, someone who trusted me, someone like you – that’s who I would share the video with.
I’d hang out with this special friend of mine, perhaps we’d have a couple of drinks, and then casually I’d mention the video. “I’d like to show you something,” I’d say slyly, with an odd sparkle in my eyes. “I think you’ll like it.” And I’d set up the video on my computer, and sit them down on the chair in front of the screen.
“You won’t mind if I look away, would you?” I’d say, as I prepare to press the ‘play’ button. “I’ve already seen it, you understand, a long time ago. I lost it for a long time, but now I’ve found it again, and I want to share it with you. Are you ready? Watch carefully. I want you to remember everything.”