'Periods of Gray'

Carissa Halston


I rely on my memory as I do my legs.   My memory holds me up.   It's as firm and level as a freshly paved road.   I don't forget faces or names.   I remember dates, birthdays, anniversaries.   I can place scents, quotes, settings, milestones, and until recently, tragedies.

I hold grudges.   It's nothing I'm proud of, but I don't pretend to be unaware.   I recall every slight, every word yelled in anger, every misstep and detail leading up to a falling out.   Estrangements which stretch on so long that the parties involved don't remember the reason for the dispute?   I know nothing of that.

Sure, it's pride.   I'm proud of knowing how I came to be where I am.   Keeps regret at bay.   But those who know too much or think they're perfect have never sat well with me.

My memory has decided to remind me of that.

A room I knew so well.   Spent heaps of time there.   But as I stand in that familiarity, a word unspoken takes me to a place I'd not thought of since I was there last.   With him.   A day I'd blocked out.   A moment of happiness and serenity that now tastes of bile.

We'd never been happy.   We were never so close.   In these facts and phrases, I put stock.   But they can be rewritten.   We'd never been so happy.   We were never so close...as we were that day.

Am I remembering things wrong?   Is this revisionist?   How many other things have I forgotten?   How to get them back?  

Of late, I've started descending into periods of gray.   It's a fuzzy station where I can't find the noun I want.   I stammer and digress until I find a suitable substitute, but I'm left feeling shaky.   My memory is spotting.   Perhaps spite was my undoing.   But it wasn't spite.   I remembered where I was and how I got there.   I still do.

But it's those extra thoughts—those strays.

Part of me wishes to remember nothing at all.