Craving

Memories, piecemeal.

When I leave here, I’ll remember how the lights in the corridor come on as I walk through it, snapping on with a click. The window in the wall overlooks a parking lot and hills in the distance. It is a western view and looks out on beautiful sunsets; this evening, I saw lavender clouds tinged with pink at the edges floating low in the sky, carried like the seagulls on a drifting breeze.

Orange pips, lettuce leaves, red plates, salmon sizzling in a frying-pan- none of these mine. Are these the things that’ll come back to me months later? The kitchen is dark and quiet, and the only noise comes from my mind enunciating everything it sees. Clear sentences, choosing words carefully, revelling in them. Soon, the drip of the decoction in the coffee filter is the only other sound in the world- the cars on the highway and the exhaust-fan don’t exist. The water bubbles up brown and thick with home-ground Peaberry coffee powder. Five minutes seem like an eternity. Snatches of long-forgotten music come back to me, I can hum them aloud and no one will hear me. Solitude, soliloquy.

Moving on is difficult. How detached can you be from the life you’re living day in, day out for weeks, months? You know things will change soon, and you still don’t learn from your mistakes. For every second you live in the present, you spend ten thinking of the past. If one memory doesn’t please, it is just too easy to replace it with another; perhaps, for a change, to imagine events into a future that doesn’t exist yet. Draw from a treasure-trove of past occasions to suit your current mood. Let melancholy raise your spirits or excessive happiness drive you to tears. I’m sceptical about falling in love with the present; it creates an insurmountable burden for the future and sets the bar very high. However, I’m not wired to be indifferent, I might as well think of swimming the Arctic Ocean.

I continue adding to the memories inadvertently. The present slips away much too readily and consigns itself to the pile of used minutes, ready to be turned to at some future occasion when I have an unholy urge to make myself laugh or cry, but just not willing to be lived when it ought to be.

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