memory

day after day, the hours pass

and i wake, and i eat, and i work, and i go to bed again

and in between the motions, things happen. she says hi, asks how i’ve been. he nods to me in the hallway. the sky sprinkles droplets of water upon the earth.

and then those little things vanish into smoke, a breath of fresh air forgotten by the next. the motions continue, blur into one.

so many pieces of my life, gone

many of them didn’t matter, of course. who cares about the 2,706th time they brushed their teeth? the 4,539th? what did the homework assignment due on september 16th mean? nothing, really.

but i look through my life, and there’s only moments, really. the impressions of moments. a stream of butterflies migrating past a school that i went to, once, before or after. a girl crying and tearing the batteries out of a flashlight on impulse, throwing it into the bushes, and her realization that all she held in her hands was a plastic thing after that. a packaged madeleine, and hours of crying.

the memory of shame, drifting all in between.

the shame comes loud and clear through the few bits of my life left to me. stealing my friend’s scarf because my mom knitted an identical one for me as well. watching my friends play while my pencil drifted around the edges of the monotonous boxes i had to fill with Chinese characters i couldn’t and still don’t remember. awkwardly stumbling over my words as i tried to explain to a police officer that no, my parents were treating me as well as any parents could, who the hell from Colorado reported them for child abuse? four years of scraping through high school, wondering how i blindly stumbled so far through my life before the consequences caught up with me.

still blindly stumbling. dropping bits of myself by the wayside, i don’t need this, don’t need that, don’t need the name of the girl sitting behind me who told me about her depression one day in class, the uncomfortable question scarf friend pinned me in the room with so many years ago while she stared and i squirmed, the reason why i’ve been so afraid all these years.

i’m losing the people i love while they still breathe. i’m running out of time on both ends of my life.

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