I can never sleep soundly when there is a full moon outside of my window. I think that perhaps it is because I remember things that I didn’t want to/didn’t think I could when the moon is full in the sky.
Memories wax and wane with time, and when the light cascades onto my linen sheets (I bought curtains a few months ago, but I haven’t gotten around to putting them up just yet), I can taste them on the very tip of my tongue: the memories of things that hurt, the things that free, the things that I never thought I’d bring forward with me in time, forward and into a future that ended up being so different than the one that I imagined.
Memories seem to taste different depending on when you come back to them. Memories age like a wine, picking up on the barrels that they’ve been aged in. They ooze off the smells of their surroundings.
The trick is knowing when they’ve aged just enough. The trick is knowing when to take them off of the shelf so that they don’t taste so bitter anymore.
Everything is slower in the winter.
Step out of my apartment before seven in the morning and the sidewalks are dark and empty, except for the flicker of moonlight on the pavement.
Step out of my apartment, and it makes sense why. Everyone likes to go for long walks outside when it’s warm, when the sun is out, when everything is thawing and beginning to come back to life. Wake up early, go to bed late, the flaming orange sun in the sky still somehow managing to rise out of its bed before you do.
Step out of my apartment, and into the cold. No one out, except for just me and the moon — as though everyone else has slowed down, started to freeze, started to hibernate — and it seems that everyone else in the world who is not the two of us can’t quite recall anything clearly anymore.
I walk alongside the moon, following its shadows and its light, with nothing but the sound of my heeled leather boots clicking as I cross the street, the sound of the wind blowing itself through my hair, knocking off my headphones from the insides of my ear, the sound of the silence that is the quiet of the entire world that lies in between.
Step out of my apartment, look up at the moon in the sky, and remember.
The worst day of my life lives in a little bottle.
I know exactly which box,
I know exactly which shelf,
I know exactly which bookcase,
I know exactly which nook,
I know exactly which cranny.
I know exactly where not to go.
I know that I can’t face the memory of it most of the time and my therapist told me a few years ago that it is okay to put it away if it tastes too harsh on the tongue, that it is okay to not drink something if the memory of it makes everything come flooding back again, if the memory of it makes it come to life again. Really though, I think it is because on normal days, I don’t know if I’m ready to open up and down that little bottle of ouch all by myself.
Opening up a memory like that is something that is much better done when you have someone else to have a drink with you.
When I was six, there was a massive ice storm. I can’t be sure if it was truly massive, if that was the word that the meteorologists used to describe it, if that was the word that the future (the present) me attributes to the past, or if the word was a different one entirely and as my memory of the storm has changed, so did the adjective (massive) that I used to describe it.
The way that I remember it: the sky couldn’t decide if it wanted to rain or if it wanted to snow. So it did both, oscillating between one and then the other. The next thing that I remember: two and half feet up to my six year-old waist in snow, ice weighing down the power lines, the electricity going out, my sister and I cuddled up in her bed under three (two?) blankets, a flashlight on the nightstand in case we wanted to get up and go downstairs for a drink of water.
synonyms: huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal
1. large and heavy or solid.
2. exceptionally large.
· very intense or severe.
·particularly successful or influential.
(But was it two blankets or three?)
The worst day of my life sometimes doesn’t seem that bad at all.
Walking in the morning moonlight, I try to guess: is it because my definition of worst (adjective: superlative of bad, ill; most severely or seriously) has changed? Is it because I have since seen/felt/tasted worse things? Or is it that I have started to forget the details that made that the worst day, choosing instead to remember the good things of that day and all the days that followed, so that now it doesn’t taste as bitter to me anymore?
Is it that I am finally ready to pull out that memory again now that I have given it time to age?
I can never sleep soundly when there is a full moon outside of my window.
So instead, I get up early, before the flaming orange sun has risen in the sky, and step out of my apartment. The moon and I walk together, remember the things that, it seems, no one else in the world wants to remember. And by the time that I get to where I am going, the moon is setting in the sky, and I am left to walk the last block and half on my own.
Memories wax and wane with time. Sometimes, we just need to see them rising and setting in the sky to remember.