Sunday, 20 November 2016
I've been thinking a lot lately about the stories we collect: the defining experiences and the touching moments and the precious memories, and about how sometimes, out of sheer necessity, or out of want for nothing else, we rewrite the narrative of our own lives when we look back on them. We convince ourselves, perhaps, that things were different. That no, we never loved them as ferociously as we thought at the time. That when our most treasured, battered romantic novels, the ones we read in the weeks after, tell us to 'be with the person you'd want to raise your son to be like', it isn't them we think about. It isn't them.
We render beautiful words meaningless, and we shrug at the idea that the air could ever have been heavy with longing for that next perfect sentence. Heavy with belonging. We season their name differently: that name, which was once so sweet, now a bitter taste in our mouths. We tell ourselves that we will be better without them, that we will be an empire, dismissing that we had never felt stronger or more inspired than when they were there stood right next to us. We laugh about all the times they said they might marry us some day. It didn't mean anything. It didn't light the fire that it did. We look straight ahead and say, 'it's no big deal', when it is the deal that changes everything and everyone for the rest of time.
We lose the details of their face, and the noises they made as they fell asleep, and how they smiled into the kiss. We undo them from our skin, like theirs were not the fingertips that once danced a labyrinth of freckles across our backs. That theirs was not the body that took refuge tangled up with ours in the darkness. We shed them, slowly: defining experiences and touching moments and precious memories becoming blurred, less saturated. And we forget. Whether to validate our own choices, or to give us the strength to rise on the days after they have gone, or simply to heal somehow,
And I've been wondering what's sadder: the fact that we have to let go in the first place, or that the letting go becomes the forgetting.
Because I don't wan't to forget.