Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Don't Forget to Remember

We are not enough.  We cannot hold everything that we do and see and touch and experience and hear and feel.

We are not enough.

These bodies of ours - they are too frail.  They are too small.  They are not enough.

I stare at my face every night before bed, before washing off the day and my makeup and my sweat and my worry.  Before the washing I look at my nose and my chin and my cheeks but never at my eyes because I don't want to see the wrinkles that might someday be there soon because I age everyday we age we get older.  I don't want to see them.  But I don't want to miss them creeping on.  I am between wanting to be warned and the dread of being surprised at their sudden arrival.  The creases between my brows, the feet of crows crackling out of the corners, the etched in parentheses quoting all those things that I said and I laughed and I screamed and I whispered.  All those things leaving their mark on my face.  I don't want to remember that way.

I forgot about a mole on my neck.  Had it always been there?  I don't remember it being there, in that spot.  I remember having it, sharing it and its place on our necks, the Vanderbosch women, moley necks and wrinkled chins and large front teeth.  But it wasn't there, was it?  I have stared at my face for years every night and I forgot it was there.

And then just like that, for no reason at all, I am shot back, back to that night those nights weeks months when he and I were together.  A remembering that I might have forgotten.  A part of us.  A part of my story.  A chapter whose pages had been stuck together and mashed up in between remembering to pay the utility bill and my sister's birthday and the time that I hit my first ball that muggy afternoon at softball practice the clink and connection and joy of metal hitting leather.

I was a baby when I was with him, so young and so naive and so innocent and so sweet. And we didn't want to say goodnight.  We said everything but goodnight because then it would be the end and it couldn't be the end.  And I remember wanting to be as close to his body as I could, that if we separated if we disconnected if we came apart then the whole wide world would fall apart and I would crumble right there in the alley in front of the bar where he lived and slept above it where he was without me and would go up and be alone and I would have to make my way back to my own room and I didn't want that to happen.  I wanted to melt into him. Through our winter coats and past the small melting flakes of snow that he said he hadn't seen in ten years because it didn't really snow there but I brought it with me, all the way from the States and I brought them for him.

And I don't want to forget those things.

Then I remember the cab ride.  That horrible, disastrous, achingly depressing cab ride when you were sitting next to me a thousand feet away.  It was our last trip.  The last time we were going to go somewhere and be something and see something and feel something together.  Our togetherness was ending.  That trip, that moment in the cab, as I stared out at the void of night falling over Lake Michigan with the life and the lights and the noises and the hope for a bright tomorrow of the city on the other side of the cab, the side of you, the side with you, that I could not look at.  I could only look at the dark.  I could only look at the night married to the depths of the lake.  I could only see the sky and water melting together as if they were always meant to be the same and together and joined.  I could not breath in that back seat.  I could not move.  I felt you over there but you were so far.  We had separated.  We had been broken.  The cord between us had been cut and there was nothing that either of us could do to repair it.  We could only sit there.  In that cab.  Alone together.

And I don't want to forget that either.

Because forgetting that thing, forgetting that hurt and that pain and that ache and that void would mean that I forgot how deeply I could feel.  It would mean that we hadn't meant anything at all.  It would mean that I wasn't capable of feeling or caring or wanting to join my life with someone in a way that truly meant something, in a way that was preferable to spending my time with any number of somebodies or alone because you were someONE.

So I remember.

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