A Poetic Short about Memory, Catharisis, and Motion
I do not know what else to do. I tire, sometimes, of the story I write. It is too much of myself sometimes. And as much as I have voices in my head coaxing it sweetly out of me, the poisons do burn as they’re pulled out.
I use the world “burn”. I wonder if everyone else’s words feel like fire when they come out?
And it causes my eyes to well. To fill to the brim so high that I cannot see what I type, sometimes, and the room is once more filled with ghosts that I had long since put to rest.
I forgive them one by one, with my eyes filled to the brim. It is my job, my full-time job. They come barging in on me when I am Living and the voices told me it is a waste of time asking them to knock.
It is how they are, the Past Things. Giving them peace is my full-time job.
So when they come in I sigh and I line them up and I do what I must do.
Sometimes they are angry with me. The one today is. “Why do you forgive me?” snarls an angry, sad boy. “I did nothing wrong.”
“I know” I say, with my eyes filled to the brim. I have to think about it, because if I do not forgive them for the Real Thing they will be back, and this tires me out.
I think and my eyes are brimming over. “I forgive you for hurting me.”
It laughs, meanly. My voices say I’m allowed to breath for a moment while my eyes are filled to the brim, because they know the water should not spill out before the words can.
I must breathe because I must focus, but it is very hard all of sudden: I hate it when he laughed this way, I had forgotten how it sounded. It gives me a shudder because I had pushed that laugh deep into black for many years now, and the poison of it felt like ice as it was pulled out.
I wonder if everyone else’s memories feel like ice when they come out?
“It was not your fault that I got hurt. I would like to explain myself, if I could.”
The ghost shrugged, and I felt it’s annoyance and intrigue. I become scared, and have the sudden urge to paint everything I can see through my eyes in black and forget I am anywhere.
The voices reminded me this was the ghost of boy who was sad and angry, and that sad and angry people are often annoyed and intrigued when someone has something to say.
My eyes were filled to the brim, and I lower the paintbrush that I used to cover up Past Things with.
I pick my words back up instead. I say, “I forgive you for many things. I shall say them all now.”
The ghost had nothing to respond with. I felt it toying with the idea of rolling it’s eyes and saying “That’s stupid.” Because even though he meant it, the ghost was not here to say things he meant.
Instead it said “Well… you sure sound more focused,” and the indifferent tease was a characteristic response. It did not distract me but it did not upset me, either.
My eyes were filled to the brim and I continued,
“I forgive you for telling this is personal . I forgive you for making fupersona l content e. I forgive you for calling personal content g. I forgive you for saying personal content personal content. I forgive you for personal content personal ccontent es.”
He flinched—not because the truth hurt but because I being more immense then I had ever been in front of the actual boy. Even the walls of my room knew it. It all flinched, it all was sqeezed in on itself as I pressed on: “I forgive you for saying that yperosnal content personal content personal content me. I forgive you for telling me I would hsuch personal content such personal ou. I forgive you for making me dotoo personal of content personal one. I forgive you for never asuch personal content . I forgive you for taking away th t the most personal contentt e. I—”
I GET IT! The room screamed, I knew what had happened, because I felt it in my eyes. My words had gotten so hot that it melted all the ice in my heart, and the extra water came pouring out from under my lashes. I knew it was melted heart-ice because it stung my eyes terribly; all things made of Painful Memory stings on it’s way out.
We had hit a Very Big Something.
But the Very Big Something was not a pause. When things are reached, there is a sound called “resounding.”And when you hear “resounding” it can only mean one thing: a real ending.
I had reached the end. I was broken, and broken by someone who got it.
But who had shouted? The ghost had not moved; he had sat still on my bed as I spoke, letting the anger drip off him into a puddle on the floor. He hunched over it, made only of sadness.
So it had been I who had interrupted myself. It was I who snapped, who understood that I did not need to speak anymore. The voices heard the machinery in my head rewinding, replaying, rewiring… and kept quiet, waiting.
“Do you mind if I say something else?” I said slowly.
The ghost shrugged, and there was no ounce of annoyance or intrigue.It all lay on the floor, unattached.
“It was not you I was meant to forgive at all.” Color came back into the room, but I do know where from, since I had not noticed it ever left to begin with. But there it was, returning from God Knows Where after God Knows How Long.
“I was talking to myself that whole time.” Colors moved in like background chatter as I continued:
“I forgive myself for dstill personal . I had every opportunity to leave and find myself whatever I wanted to be, and I did not use it; it was not your fault. I forgive myself for letting you personal contetnt e: I had every opportunity to tell you I was hurt and yet I didn’t, and that is not your fault. I forgive myself for—”
And it went on. And on, and on, and on. And I cried (because it is very painful, Seeing oneself) and the ghost listened (because that is all one can do when they see someone Seeing themselves).
And just as he came in with no knock, the ghost of the sad and angry boy slowly disappeared without any goodbye, like all the other Past Things that enter without knocking and leave without farewell.
And I was alone, once more. After some time of letting me be, when my eyes had watered out, a voice in my head came in, softly and politely, and it was Time again.
I nodded, tired.
It always tired me out, talking to those things.
The voices in my head pet my hair, and reminded me that the hardest wars are fought by two people stuck in memory, even after one is long gone. I looked out the window, and spent some time thinking about all different kinds of war.
War with ourselves, that’s what you mean.
The voices nodded: And those are wars of Love, even when they don’t look it.
I nodded, tired, and took to typing. Could I talk about someone else this time, when I write?
Of course you can, smiled the voices. They felt this a very encouraging sign. What story do you want to write about?
And so they let me write about rocks. The voices in my head are good bosses to me, even though they do not pay me and I work in very hot and cold conditions.
Still, it gets easier every day. The Past Things that watched me forgive myself never visit as ghosts once we are done, but they come back as friendly thoughts, helpful thoughts. I am building quite an army of them, their are becoming so very many of them now.
And they always knock when they come in: they sometimes sit in silence while I read, or sometimes they offer funny or interesting points when I get stuck. These do not tire me out, but give me energy.
They always say farewell on their way out.
Excuse me, I must write about Rocks. (It is quite a swell and beautiful story, I have been dreaming about it for months. They are such lovely things, when you know what they do–what they’ve always been doing– for clouds all these years. Remind me to show you sometime when I’m not working.)