October 14, 2007

i remember

last october when my then-boyfriend and i broke up and the weather got cold, and then colder, i woke up and the temperature inside my bedroom was fifty degrees. leo and i stayed under the covers until our bladders were bursting, i vowed never to forget, and never again to take heat for granted. but i did forget.

and now its nearly a year later and the electricity is out. my paisley slip covers are soaking in the washing machine, while my mattress sits around in its underwear. i can't run the vacuum, or finish my wash, or even make toast. one minute i was doing laundry, blasting the stereo, leo circling my feet like a hungry shark, and the next minute everything went still, and suddenly i felt a loss for a man i can't even recall.

i have not gotten to the point where i vow to remember this. but we don't get to choose what sticks- do we? how many times i have run my fingers along a picket fence and thought, "this! i will remember this moment always!" and all that remains is the memory of a desire to hold on to a memory.

my dad once told me that every fall the dragonflies in brazil return to the lake where they were first born to touch down one more time again before they dye. i have taken it on myself to remember this for him.

i especially don't like it when somebody remembers something that i love, better than i can. there are places i don't often mention, incase someone else may remember it more. like seminole lake park, where my parents used to take my sisiter and i as little girls- where our imaginations gave way to wild adventures, where i learned the true worth of childhood, where our unbridled freedoms were claimed, and secrets were told under the ancient oaks, who to this very day have faithfully kept every single one.
heather was always better at making new friends and she has a better memory than me. even now her reminisce is a shining spectacle to witness. when she turns on those brights i stand exposed, stripped of every detail, unworthy to have ever played there at all.
but i do remember streams we followed downhill to the lake, and where we once searched for a plant with a silver leaf and thick juicy stems which cured poison ivy. what its name was, whether we found any, and who had poison ivy i can't recall.

i remember big, soft, rolling hills and the way we'd run down them, letting our legs move faster than our bodies ever thought possible. i remember barrel rolling our way to the bottom and how the tiny twigs and leaves would cling to my hair and pants. i remember how i would never brush them off, as they were small badges proving my bravery.
i remember the lake in drought season and finding treasures in the smelly mud - once a smooth piece of carved jade and lots of broken china. i remember lying on a jetty that extended off somebody's front lawn and listening to the water and realizing that an airplane's drone had become a sound as natural as rain or crickets.

the ancient wisteria plant that grew by my windows is forever the smell of hot summer, and carries with it the memory of Chris Whitaker, who taught me how to french kiss as we sat on his roof overlooking manatee avenue.

if my sister said she loves wisteria, and that wisteria is her favorite flower, part of me would want to scream "but it grew outside my window!"
but i don't. because deep down i know the truth; i know that none of it belongs to me.

1 comment:

  1. this is such a lovely story and so well-written. reminds me of one of sylvia plath's stories in johnny panic.

    hope you are well.