When the winds first scattered us, naked to the plains, we crawled from the muck; we crawled from our caves. And I remembered you. I remembered you. You were a distant mote sunken in my brain, left hopelessly alone until I gave you a name. Because I remembered you. I remembered you. Before I found a face to match what I thought you should be, I found out that all along you were tucked away inside of me. The idea of something that I needed to stay sane; a hunger left unsatiated from before we ever came. Like a “made in…” stamp from a factory floor; a tag in a shirt. A warm radiant core emanating and resonating from a forgotten shred of us. I gave you a name and brought to the surface. Because I remembered you. I remembered you. I remembered you. I remembered you.
I once felt an impossible breathe upon my neck, hailing from a corner I had never before touched. I knew it was not real but I let myself get lost in it, if only for a moment. Later on, walking down a cold and empty street, I felt a shiver immediately followed by a warm comfort. I was convinced it had followed me. For a while there I actually thought it was real. I got lost in it, and felt that I could finally accept that the dream was real. Like most dreams, eventually you wake up and the world is cold and lonely. No breathe upon your neck, no comfort on the cold and empty street; only a fading memory of a place you once were. The way everything felt and the way everything needed to be (and was). When the abyss stares back, be sure it’s looking at you and not what it wants you to be.
Sometimes I catch myself in thought, lost in memories of times long since passed. There is always that longing to return to the places we’ve been, if for nothing else but to see them in a new light. Memories are strange like that, because no matter how you felt at the time, it’s how you remember them that sticks with you. Over time, those feelings can change, and so too does the memory. Sometimes I find myself at odds with the good times, because I know them now for what they truly were; fluff pieces. It’s not the laughter, or the friends or the high that sticks with you, it’s the little things. Something pure and honest that would have otherwise been completely lost had you not turned your head at the right moment. The way the cheeks creased on that girl you never met when she smiled. The way the wind ruffled the curtains as it blew in through the open bedroom window. The pop in that record that seemed, for that brief instant, perfect. You lose those things in the moment, only to remember them in a moment of clarity. Like a particle of dust dancing through a light beam, flickering into existence from a seemingly empty space. Like a hidden world that you’ve stumbled upon by chance, you’re given a brief glimpse of something that nobody else saw. For those brief moments, you and the universe are sharing a joke, telling a secret. You laugh with your eyes and let only the slightest grin escape you, so as to not draw attention; for these things can not be described to others who had not had that moment. The inside joke never to be repeated. It’s strange, though, that those little, tiny, seemingly insignificant moments, truly are the most significant. You find yourself shaped more by that speck of dust than by a hundred million parties; all the worlds parties. A hundred million friends. A hundred million memories. They blow away like smoke from lungs, and what you are left with is a speck of dust forever engrained in you. Carl Sagan once referred to the nomadic nature of humans by saying “The open road still softly calls”. Maybe it’s not the millions of miles of highway, the vast plains and tundras, nor the great expanse of space that calls us, but rather the tiny, fleeting moments that we will find along the way. The road less traveled is still but a road, and when you least expect it you may be shown a glimpse of a dream you forgot you had long, long ago.
October 10, 2011 | Categories: The Balance | Tags: Carl Sagan, dust, friends, lifeaftersocialmedia, memories, memory, moment of clarity, moments, parties, strange, the balance, the open road, The open road still softly calls, walrus | Leave a comment
A reminder at the end of the day that you spoke to me when I was half asleep. I shrugged it off, as if it was me being tired that made it strange, but you were quite peculiar. You spoke as if in broken English; as if you had forgotten, momentarily, who you were. Maybe you were just remembering who you were, and for a brief instant you were truly yourself. I could not remember what it was you said, only how you sounded and how it made me feel.
He woke up in the machine to find that strange things have taken place. He couldn’t remember specifics, but he was aware that something was not right; something was off. He didn’t care that things were different, it was just something he had noticed. There was no dwelling on this, it was simply a passing thought as he got to his feet and shook the dust out of his clothes. How long had it been? His timepiece had stopped several hours ago, if the position of the sun was to be trusted, but how many days had passed? Trudging out of the wilderness, and away from the wreckage, past the once prestigious city which had since fallen, he felt nothing of sadness or remorse. There were no inklings of regret or shame, nor worry or fright. He had thought, briefly, that once some switches are turned off, they will never turn back on again; but he felt nothing of the idea, and it quickly passed through his mind. Such as it is that switches function so, and so he kept on walking.