The One In Which I Forget Completely

Press play then read.

Jónsi – Sticks & Stones

“I don’t even remember going there.”

She fingers a saved ticket stub and replaces it carefully back into the faded shoe box.

“I hate when I forget.”

Even with a physical anchor to the world our memories break free and float away. It’s this I think of when I look to the sky and part the clouds, when I open my mind and empty my heart. I leave the cage door open and beg them all to fly away.

“Fly.” I give my memories a stern look. “Fly.”

I jiggle my head from side to side, hope they will be unsteadied, hope they will take a fluttering step to the door. They don’t.

“You’re free. I don’t want to tether you anymore. Go. It’s time.”

The memory of his beard against my cheek cocks its head at the memory of my barefeet on his dashboard, quizzically. As if to say, “Bitch be crazy.”

“Look,” I say. “You’re fine and everything, great memories. You’ve served me well, kept me warm on cold nights, made me giggle for no reason, kept me going back and going back and going back again but enough is enough. I don’t want you anymore. I don’t need you anymore. You need to leave. Learn to fly. Go.”

The memory of our stolen kiss hops from one foot to the other.

The memory of his fingers strumming a guitar turns its back to me.

The memory of our laughter tucks its head under a wing and fakes sleep.

“Goddammit!”

Eyes fly open, there is nervous chatter.

“I said I don’t. Fucking. Want. You. Any. More.”

I shake my head violently. I screw my eyes shut. Fists and tears and the sky.

Only my hollow voice echoing against the clouds.

Agony.

Then sobs.

Hiccups that fade quietly, swallowed up by the air.

My forehead, defeated, in my hands.

It’s his nickname that takes flight first.

Followed by the dimple in his right (or was it his left?) cheek.

Our inside jokes, one after the other, begin to block out the sun.

Bird after bird after bird circle the skies, crying.

Leaving me on my knees, eyes wide.

Empty.

Palms open collecting black feathers like rain.

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5 thoughts on “The One In Which I Forget Completely”

  1. Ugh. This made me cry.

    I know this exactly.

    We want them to leave; we are desperate for them to stay.

    I can still remember what it feels like to hold him, the feel of his shirt, his weight, the rise and fall of his chest, the softness of his hair. I’m amazed I still have physical memory of this. I know it won’t stay forever.

  2. Ohhhh… Letting go of the past. We try and try and try. And sometimes, we don’t necessarily lose what’s past, even if we let it go. Leonard Cohen wrote about this—he said: “And I feel so close to everything we lost, we’ll never, we’ll never have to lose it again.”

    Soon, your hands will hold much more than black feathers of the fallen.

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