Memory

The year is fading. I can't remember how it began. My memories dissolve, they have been dissolving for years now. Nothing stays. In the parking garage of my apartment building, glass was scattered across the concrete. At first I thought it was ice but when the shards were still there days later I knew it was glass. I wanted to touch it. I wondered what the pieces had once been and if they had ever held anything. I know now that memory is like that--the experience as it is lived is whole but fragile, vitreous. Then there is the crack, then the shattering, then the shimmer of the glass ruins strewn in the mind. Memory is jagged, the act of remembering injures. When I remember, it's as though I am in a dark forest with trees all around, their thick tops blotting out the sun, and then a slab of sunlight pierces the dark and illuminates a fragment lying on the forest floor. I bend to pick it up, mesmerized by the luminescence, curious to know what it is. It does not matter that my hands are slashed by the memory as I hold it, that I bleed after remembering, what matters is that I see, feel, taste, inhale a lost moment. Some memories are terrible. I hate them but pick them up too. I can't control what that slab of light falls on, or where it will take me. Memory is light, it is a glow, a spark in the darkness even if what is remembered is horrid--you must look, you must see, and then the blackness saves you and the memory is gone. No more light. It is mercy.