Brittle pieces of memories
There’s an old saying that goes, if you have too many memories then break them up into small pieces and store them. I tried doing that but I noticed that if I didn’t store them carefully the older ones tend to get brittle and break off and then I don’t know how to put them back together again. For instance, my memory of how I learnt to embroider my name broke off at the edges and all I now have left is the memory of a needle going in and out which meanders away to the sound of someone shouting “not with your hands, silly use your elbows”.
My friend Jo said to me the other day that she stores her memories in an old rosewood box that belonged to her grandmother. That way when she loses the brittle bits at least there is thin waft of rosewood smell in the air which helps her understand where it may have fallen. Of course, that doesn’t help her track them down because usually the neighbour’s cat gets to them first. Amazing how it knows exactly where to find them. One time she caught it with the last piece of her how to bake a muffin memory.
I have a tendency to wrap my favourite memories in bubble wrap paper, so that if they attempt to break off then it will give out a warning pop. The last time I heard the pop I managed to rescue some pieces of my school memories. Was that my history teacher looking pleased to see me? That couldn’t be right. It must have got mixed up. But still that doesn’t explain her smile. Somehow, a memory of a teacher smiling at me couldn’t be from my stash. I was sure of that.
Sometimes on a rainy afternoon I pull out a memory from the bottom of the stack and go through it. It’s so much better than reading a book. I pull them out randomly to surprise myself and the last time I did that I had a scare because it was of the time I went for a picnic and got lost and then out of nowhere this talking rabbit popped up and asked me politely where I wanted to go. I realized then that while storing it I had mixed it up with the one of my school play where Bir had played a talking rabbit but he would always forget his lines.
Some memory pieces that get a little faded I use instead of ice cubes, in my drink. Love the way they clink against the glass and then squish against each other. I could’ve sworn that I saw Kamal bubble up in my glass of sangria. The wine made his face look mottled and his curly hair fizzed angrily as I deliberately swirled the glass. That will teach you to reject me for Kiki. All she had was sassiness. How could that count for anything? And when he melted down to the dregs I shouted out with sheer delight. Aah yes, some memories deserve to die a wine-soaked death!