Memory is a funny thing. When I think too much about it, it feels terrible. The idea of the number of things I’ve forgotten is terrible. It’s overwhelming. So few moments actually stand out to be recalled. So many more disappear. All the mundane day to day stuff fades fast, sure, but the big things fade too. Things you thought you’d remember FOREVER just go. Nothing stays clear.
I feel like my strongest memories tend to exist in ten second fragments. And the things I can actually call to mind are strange and too specific. There’s no big picture. Just flashes. I can see my feet walking the pavement in front of Victoria Hall, in first year, following my last exam. I can see my hand raising a paper cup, and the yellowish tea sliding toward me, on the patio of the Bathurst/St. Clair Second Cup with Patty, summer of 1999. The terrible humidity, and the dim dustiness of the room when Craig and I realized I’d bought the wrong bed frame, and his face, laughing, and me doubled over to my knees, laughing too, because it was just so ridiculous.
The moments I have from this week last year include saying goodbye to MJ and Kathryn in the back doorway of D’s new apartment. (Kathryn’s extra long, extra hard hug, in particular.) The blue of the sky seen from the heavy couch we had to leave in the back alley while D returned the truck. The white of the hotel robes at the River Rock. The looks on everyone’s faces while playing charades when I failed, humiliatingly but hilariously, to accurately portray a Ninja Turtle.
And the view through the rear-view mirror as I actually drove away. The grey view of that particular morning. Everything and the man, getting smaller and smaller, and then disappearing entirely as I turned the corner onto Hemlock. Those seconds are especially clear. That was Monday. Monday of this week last year. By today, Friday, I was here. And thinking about Lori’s funeral. And feeling the ironic luck of having arrived just in time, which wasn’t very comforting, considering.
And now it’s already been a year. At this time last year, I wrote about how I wished I could have stayed in Vancouver, but things look different from this side. It was right for me to come. Everything is better now. At the time, I couldn’t see how it might ever be better. I sort of didn’t believe in better. It’s so clear now, why that was. I couldn’t see anything last year. Things have opened up.
But the truth is, I still don’t know how to measure a year. I don’t know how to add it up, or how to step back far enough to see what it means. (Daylights? Sunsets? Midnights? Cups of coffee?) Geeze. ;) I need some new cultural references, don’t I? I’m so dated.
It’s been a really surprising, really disturbing, really unsettling, really amazing week. And from a calendric standpoint, this seems significant, but I don’t know if it really is.
It’s just what happens, I guess. You scorch the earth and it looks really terrible for awhile. Black as a scab. And then things grow up in the dark spaces. They grow up and spread out and everything looks new again. Everything looks new (and a little incongruous) in the place of everything you burned down. It’s scary.
The truth about me is that I like scabs. I pick at them to keep them from healing. I’ve always done this. It’s a terrible habit. I have actual scars as a result. Forgive me, because I know it’s weird and gross, but I do it without thinking. That’s what I’m like. I guess I just like to make things last. Even things that hurt, because at the very least, those are things I already understand, and am already used to. Scabs are just things covering up the stuff I’m already sure I can handle, if you know what I mean.
Bleh. Emo alert. I’m gonna stop now, I promise. This sort of earnestness is disgusting. I’m embarrassed to have caved to it AGAIN, but the anniversary of all things new seemed to require SOME sort of memorial.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be up early to do the Walk for ALS (which, after the Terry Fox run in September, may signal a new trend for me). My party went really well on the 24th. I had a job interview yesterday that felt pretty decent. I have finally (FINALLY) started watching Firefly. AND I managed a triple at my last softball game. New things are happening. Again.
Reflective (‘cause I’m shiny),