Thought Eleven: I Remember

You see, its what you forget. What you lose. What slips through your brain full of holes. The little things, the stuff of life, the stuff that makes you smile, makes you cry.

The lead character from the film ‘Everything Is Illuminated’, Jonathan, would collect things from an early age, little things, and preserve them in baggies, those little plastic airtight seal-able bags, and then stick them on his wall, with a time and a date. He did so because he didnt want to forget anything. Us humans are hoarders by nature. We protect, preserve, uphold, keep, store, remember, remind. Data upon data, to tell us the way things were, echoes from the past. Even so, its the little things we tend to lose. Little pieces of ourselves every day slip through the cracks.

Maybe they are meant to be lost. Maybe its a natural process, this gradual loss of memory weight through the years. We are born with nothing, we die with nothing. In our modern lives, more things of ourselves echo into the future, fragments of what we once were stick around stubbornly for people to examine.

The little things about my last relationship. These things, if not recalled, will slip away, one by one over the years. Who knows what I have already lost.

Her free spirit. Running through the fountain fully dressed, getting soaked so bad, she hung her socks out of the taxi window to dry them. I always wondered if I left her less of a free spirit than when I met her. Did I take some of that away from her?

Sitting on my lap in a crowded bus in Nanjing. I was so nervous.

I didnt hold her hand crossing the road, that first night. She told me it was her first indication that I didnt take enough care of her. Was it doomed from the start?

Fumbling under the sheets in the train ride.

Our first argument. I slept on a bench outside the room. She persuaded me to come back to bed minutes after.

Shouting at her on the phone outside the hot internet cafe. I didnt care, nobody around me could understand what I was saying.

Arguing. Arguing. Arguing.

Her nails on my arm, digging in, leaving scars.

My emotional and mental punishments. She would cry, I would shout.I still feel bad about it.

Turning back at the airport, about the step on the plane. Then deciding against it. A life changing moment in a split second decision. The taxi ride home after that. Still here. Still in Montreal.

Our last night together in Montreal. Fucking around in the snow.

3am tears in New York. Sobbing until I cant breathe.

The day she tells me about him. Her new love.

What are we meant to keep? What are we meant to forget? Is it all just supposed to be lost in time, or are we supposed to cling onto these moments?

 

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