A place, a person, a smell, will suddenly become so precious, that I’ll stop walking and step aside desperate for recollection. Despite its weight in the past, the memory is delicate enough to float right out over my head or tear in my hands when I try to trap it. How is it that people and places that meant so much, become ghosts with only the power to flirt with reality and tease the child you once were?
My mind wanders, eyes blinking to a hazy day at the end of some Rockaways pier … or did we drive further? The memory is foggy - No, we took the train with a backpack and my red thrift store thermos that kept our tea steaming long after our toes crippled with cold in our ridiculously inappropriate footwear. Poured by the cap-full, the hot tea turned iced and the faraway glint of the boardwalk diner reeled us in.
The dingy entrance, the over sized empty bar, I remember being led to the booths bathed by cold February light. Whose hand led me? One of two boys who still occupy rooms in my mind could've been partner on such a day. He undoubtedly, was my whole world at the time, and now which boy somehow doesn’t matter. To focus on him would allow other information to tamper with this memory. The happened that night? for instance, or why did we ultimately break up? The whole of the relationship would suddenly bully and shove away this already slipping and shrinking away day.
Stretched thin by everything that’s happened since I wouldn’t be surprised if my memory is all wrong and I’m just a frantic romantic groping at sepia sea air unable to think clearly. Attempting to remember something so past feels like trying to open your eyes in the middle of a dream and failing to do so, the dream itself changes into one about blindness or injury.
I often strain to remember a suddenly precious memory that despite its weight I haven’t thought about in years. But like looking at a star - memories seem clearer when you gaze at them sideways. What memories play around behind your eyes? Are they still apart of you now, or do they remain holding hands with a past self?