Thursday, February 16, 2006

stacked up packages

It might not be the best time to relieve one's mind of piss, or of scum, or of dirt baggage accumulated through years of somnolence. I've always spoken of memories as packages neatly tied by paper strings and nicely stacked up in some dingy part of my brain. They're always there but I'm not so sure which box contains which memory. Fine dust only adds to the confusion. I sneeze if I so much as finger through its raspy surfaces. These memory packages, whatever they contain, still feel luscious on my skin, though. Luscious and confusing. Like ketchup in your orange juice. I do not know how to regard them sometimes. They are no longer part of the soul that birthed them. Stacked up boxes take on a life of its own, as they are wont to do.

Tonight might not be the right time to relieve my brain of memories. The second month of the year is only halfway through. It's not right to bring all the boxes out and clean them one by one like children who have just mucked about in the park. Rituals follow the caprices of the moon. No maddened lunar voice has told me to do the 'memory-cleaning' ritual yet.

Why would I want to claw at mounds of memories, both rancid and creamy, when I am quite busy creating one at the moment? I have my hands full. This moment is the life. That cheap white wine gulped from huge coffee mugs is the life. The now. Like getting lost in a labyrinth of slimy alleys, in the midst of illegal aliens with awful accents selling imitation goods, for which my friend and I haggled unsuccessfully. Like connecting with an old friend and checking out chicks at the other table in a crowded fast food joint, even as we pluck old remembrances from the air like ripe mangoes. Like horsing around with nephews and nieces while waiting for Christmas dinner to get cooked. Like goofing around with my dog, Dorothy, who incessantly runs around my feet or clambers up my lap to have her belly scratched. Like swapping stories with my aging mother while the late afternoon sun heaves forgotten mantras. Like hearing the crisp click of the door knob against the jamb of my new room. Like bringing individually wrapped pieces of cheap milk chocolate to the canteen, pretending they are orgasm-inducing Swiss chocolate. Like playing the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at high noon, my fingers straining to breathe life to boring delicatissimo passages even as my mind yearns to play the third movement in the distant, possibly unrealizable future. Like touching your face while you are curled up in bed, breathing out the song of your dream, a sad song, really, that reminds me of your imminent departure for the States. Will you remember me when you're already there? Will the same memories we have so beautifully created here tide you over the way they would my soul?

Irrelevant questions.

In an irrelevant world, it is almost blasphemous to ask irrelevant questions like these. Memories do not always provide consolation to the weary, nor succor to the lost. They merely sit quietly in that forgotten corner, smug and comfortable with their nice paper strings and dusty surfaces.

I, too, sit in front of my window at the end of the day, contemplating on the gathering cirrus clouds as they flirt with each other in dizzying oranges, pinks, purples, and yellows. I untie the paper string and open a package and smile at what I see. I had been so busy creating memories that I didn't notice I had been happy during that time. It's funny that I don't notice that. Only when I look back can I say that I had been happy. Truly happy.

And I only have flirty, garish clouds with me now to witness that happiness.



At 9:12 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

Most of my memory boxes are light because when I open them, they are empty. Just two days ago at dinner time I was wondering why I was so hungry only to remember after close to a minute that I haven't taken my lunch yet. That's my memory within the day. Imagine those in years past. I'm friggin' old!

At 1:40 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

abaniko--hey, there are benefits to having empty memory boxes sometimes. it lightens your baggage.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Sidney said...

Always a pleasure to read your posts. So beautifully written.
All my memories are bitter-sweet. Bitter because those moments are gone and will never come back. Sweet because they were happy moments.
But I learned my lesson. I now really enjoy EVERY moment of my life knowing that those moments will never come back.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger weng said...

yeah, we try to remember the past to feel some semblance of comfort, to fill the need for security, to quench the thirst for meaning. a shared reality, after all, never fails to lift a broken spirit. but after the self-induced momentary bliss you ask yourself, what for... "They are no longer part of the soul that birthed them"

At 1:08 PM, Blogger bismuth said...

this is lovely. it reminds me of my own sunset memories, of freshly cut grass, of white cogon flowers swept up by the wind. and that lovely pale face illumined by the new moon. and how true- only in retrospect do we truly feel how alive we were in those moments.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

SIDNEY-- oh, so that's why you document every great moment with your camera.

you're right. that's what i'm trying to do right now, trying to savor every moment.

WENg- that, too. going through one's memories can sometimes slow down one's progress. it's better to focus on living the moment.

BISMUTH -- oh yes, i remember so well your poetic post on this. memories...sigh...


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