An old milliner’s striped hat box, now faded and reincarnated by its late owner into a correspondence catalogue of letters from childhood friends, past roommates, old lovers and faraway cousins, sat amongst frayed copies of financial statements and middle aged tax forms, dancing with forty year-old photos of young girls with shiny bare arms and knees and shoulders, their cheeks red-rose blossomy. The photographer’s camerawork captured the radiance of the sun that lent a lucid sheen to the girls’ knowing eyes as if they knew they were attempting to permanently imprint the temporary.
Tag Archives: memories
I made imaginary plans to run away from home after Melinda did. It was unexpected. We were supposed to meet at the swings at the playground between our houses as usual, before going to Melrose to get matching tattoos, of monarch butterflies.
Even after 45 minutes, I wasn’t much worried. It wasn’t unusual for Melinda to take time wrangling from her mother’s grasp to teach her how to cook, to sew, to bake. After two hours of swinging I went home. While I was watching “Jeopardy!” later that night, I heard knocking. My dad went to answer it and I heard Melinda’s mom’s rushed voice. My dad came into the living room and asked when was the last time I spoke to or saw Melinda.
The previous month we had gotten our ears pierced without parental permission.
“I don’t care what she says or if she grounds me, I want to wear earrings! Who cares about some holes in ears,” Melinda had said, and we went ahead to the mall, got them done.
When I got home I tried to hide my ears behind my hair but my mother saw my newly minted ears glimmer and she pulled them out as I was swallowing a spoon of rice. Melinda got into trouble and her mother grounded her for rest of summer vacation, and I didn’t see any hint of her, except sometimes there would be notes in my mailbox. I didn’t know when she was able to deliver them, but they were my only link to her. When I tried to reply her mother intercepted them as contraband, and I’m sure she read them, so I wrote to her as if my letters had been unanswered.
Now she’s been gone for 10 months. I leave letters for her on the swing, but this time, they are sincerely unanswered. This was 1993.
I don’t know where the time went– it just went. I woke up one morning and repeated dutifully for the past six amorphous years until this rebellious moment, still unable to account for it all. I heard it happened to ex-drug users and postmen, but I never was officially either. I didn’t have time to think it could happen. I was occupied. Living in each moment presently and wholly, devoting all my waking abilities to that single frame moment, thus neglecting my future and barely imprinting past experiences, creating this fog. From this moment forward, let me be more consciencious! Let me be aware of me and you and me and you together and use more thought! More judgment and wisdom! Let me view each upcoming moment as a Webster-armed editor with the hands of a storyboard artist.
In the lot, Sonia wished she didn’t read those articles delivered to her mailbox daily, emails like, “10 ways to save money”, or “One magic thing you can’t live without in your kitchen”. This morning’s article, “Five ways to lose weight”, recommended to park as far away as possible when shopping so she’d walk more, burning more calories. She was at a big box store, the kind cosmopolitan, urban areas and their respective neighborhood associations rally against.
The parking lot went seemingly to the horizon– rows and rows of cars, so much that it could have doubled as an used car lot. While she walked back to her car with her groceries she thought about all the email tips that she received and never followed up on, and the only fun she’d ever had in a parking lot was making out in the back of a pickup truck.