Tuesday, April 11, 2006
From the Random Files...
I, like most other neurotic artistic-types, keep things. For me, it's moments. I have an entire wing of my brain dedicated to the filing away of these random, often uneventful yet still vivid moments. This is where I go when I'm struggling to sleep. I escape there and am surrounded by scraps of my life. I spread the memories out, filling whatever space there is between me and sleep and I study them as though they are all pieces of some larger puzzle, something that I'm supposed to be able to make sense of, someday.

The puzzling thing about these memories is how separate they are. I remember only these moments, not the preceding or the following. Not the cutting of a birthday cake, or the opening of gifts. Only these tiny, often mundane, glimpses remain in perfect clarity.


Vacation. It's morning; early enough that the sunlight filtering through the windows is thin and yellow on my tan legs. I'm curled at the foot of the stairs, at a window and surrounded by musty magazines from the fifties. I can’t read, but I like to hold them and pretend that I can. I study the pictures of important looking men with thick-rimmed glasses. A yellowed newspaper crumbles at the corner when I lift it. The lake outside the window breaks in small curls on the flat sand then pulls back. There are empty milk jugs bobbing along beyond the dock, makeshift buoys. Yesterday, we stood in the silky water and pressed mud into flat cakes between our palms. Looking down from the window, I can see the dry circles of sand still on the dock planks, but with lines where the sand slipped between the boards and back to the lake.


Christmas in the 80's; standing in a dingy kitchen surrounded by petite aunts and cousins, staring at my feet. Size five and you're only nine? My Gawd, you're going to be a giant. The shortest of my aunts blows smoke on my face as she talks. Her face is square and pockmarked; her hair is a wiry mesh of brown, a helmet. Behind her I can see my mother at the table, her face yellowed by the haze of thier smoke. My aunts cluck amongst themselves with Kahlua breath. The fiery tips of their cigarettes stare at me. I look down and hate my feet.

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5 Comments:

Blogger LJ said...

Oh this one got me. My memory is like that too...vivid little film clips surrounded by flickering dots and haze...no additional context. I often marvel at writers who seem to have total recall of their lives.
On the other hand...I wonder if this rather surreal type of memory doesn't make us see short vivid scenes as something to start making up a story around.
Nice film clip, Mella. And I think we may all have had that particular aunt.
The dreadful woman.

Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Our lives are like a patch work quilt- or 'crazy quilt,' perhaps, describes it better! All the little bits and pieces held together with such a flimsy thread...still,always there for us to examine-piece by piece.

Junie

Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Our lives are like a patch work quilt- or 'crazy quilt,' perhaps, describes it better! All the little bits and pieces held together with such a flimsy thread...still,always there for us to examine-piece by piece.

Junie

Blogger zhoen said...

Weird how those who have screwed up their lives, and only cling to it by anesthetizing themselves, make us feel bad about our normal selves.

Blogger Weird said...

I love those little pieces of life. Even the bad becomes good to hold onto.

Weird

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