The Weight of Past Memories

People ask me a lot these days about what I’ve seen, about what I’ve learned, and my answers to them are vague. I do not owe them a response that would appease them nor one that ought dismiss their curiosities. If anything I am vague because it is easier for them to acknowledge and leave the rest only for their imagination.

At times I let slip a hint of what took place on the road, along the narrow stretches of the graffiti laden walls, the dim lit interior of some dungeon chamber or another; beyond that, I try my best not to sink too deeply into my own interpretation of those past events. There is only so much one could do to express themselves before the words run dry. It is difficult to attend events, for I feel distant and unable to relate, let alone comprehend the mannerisms of those once familiar to me.

It is now December and the skies are gray. The dusk settles not long past noon and when it does, the evenings are bitterly cold. I am alone in my dwelling and it is silent. The hum of the fridge is audible, the wooden flooring soft to touch. Here the lighting is dim, I prefer it that way, and in the mornings, when I am able, mild sunlight seeps past ancient curtains, drifting unwashed coffee cups and takeout cartons.

I do not feel that I am here. Instead I am beginning to see myself back in places far away, reliving moments that have since vanished between then and now. I imagine that is part of the process of writing a memoir, returning to places both pleasant and unpleasant alike. It is hard to establish a proper beginning therefore I stall and time slips by, hours become days, days become weeks, and weeks into months.

They told me that it is not easy to readjust and I cannot help but ask, “To what end?” How should I return to the reality that people claim to definite? Work, education, security and finances; realistic things, important things. I feel that they have lost meaning to me as if though perhaps I would sooner contemplate what exists beyond, having seen them firsthand, and I wonder if I am ignorant or whether it is the other way around.

The messages were at first endless, the appreciation seemingly infinite. Unfamiliar faces congratulated me at every turn, voicing their concerns, inspiration written in their tearful eyes. I am called a hero when all it was that I did was merely aspire, no different than the rest of them. I retreat into my corner and despite the words I say nothing. I have words that are there in my mind which do not translate into written or spoken form. The silence has become almost unbearable at times.

It is not that I do not care for my loved ones, rather the same truthfulness from before must apply to my habits and interactions. There is very little patience these days for the crassness of hesitation, a lack for honest words; in truth, I have since become more direct and blunt about my opinions, having realized how important that is within an age of constant miscommunication.

I do not wish to be misunderstood.

The world I have seen has been a subjective one, different to everyone involved in it, but like the wizened dimmed eyes of men and women with wrinkled faces, it exists only to those that should be catered towards it. Curiosity itself being part of the notion, thereby being a necessity to my memories.

I have seen and done many things since then and now. It is not out of self-entitlement that I say that few people could understand the depth and scale of what has transpired. They ask about my current follies and I am vague, more for my own sanity than theirs.

My fingers danced in delicate movements, hovering over soft parted lips, and felt only the warmth of a sigh breathing against them, trusting. They brushed over the yellow brown reeds that thrust out from chain fences, playing with a blue thread of string in between; rosemary herbs and tobacco leaves spread over each digit. It is hard to breathe, smoking does that, but there is only life in the air despite the miasma and decay.

I watched a group of foreign monks applaud at violet sparks that echoed thunder across a Colorado sky, Bach caressing the night as smoke swept the streets in July; at dusk, I sat  overlooking upon a Manhattan skyline and watched the scores of traffic lights illuminate the steel sky. A gentle fog swept over my shoulders in Boston, mildew trickling overhead a park in Vermont. I danced alone on a road, flickering street lights guiding my rhythms, away from watchful and paranoid eyes all around. Have we become so bitter that our imagination and youth are replaced by some unfathomable and tragic disregard for them?

I listened as the sound of poetry fills the air in the form of a whispered baritone and the man whose words mesmerized those around him, hung from his back with half a dozen hooks, an expression of contentment driven by his anguish. Two men tore themselves apart over a five dollar bill, biting one another until the pavement ran red beneath them, all the while as ‘gentle’ folk stood by uncaring, all the while as they cheered when I gave them another one. Beyond these things I wonder often about the meaning of horror and beauty, by definition which seemed worse than the other.

A black man whose gentleness and compassion kept hidden as he trod on all fours, barking like a dog, and who seemed so terribly more becoming than those who preyed on confidence and faith beyond; soft unfamiliar hands encircled mine, watching the passerbys from a thinly veiled window, and falling in love beneath a crescent moon underneath an azure blue sky. I wonder if courage truly exists through identity and self-knowing or if it is only our belief of the term that breathes life to it.

The voices call from within these images, whispering to me their stories, interwoven together despite never haven known each other; in despair, I am comforted by them, reminded again of the truth I have, personally, become so attached to. Now it is dark and restless evenings have turned night to day and day to night. I sleep little and dream often of summer days and distant spring. It is dark but I know, in my heart of hearts, I will always continue to see goodness to the world, no matter how bleak it seems.

Imagine then if you can, these trivial things, and understand what it is I am fucking dealing with.

Good luck.

To the person who sent me this: Basically. In. Spades.

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