Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just memories

Moments. That's what life is really all about. You know you're always going to remember certain events. Like the time you went to the animal shelter to pick out a kitten. Like the time you dislocated your shoulder when you were five and sat in the emergency room for half the night. Like the day your best friend drowned. And the day you graduated high school without him.

But you never really know, as you're living these moments, which ones you will recall so vividly years later. So clearly that if you could go back in time, you’d be right there again. In an instant. For just a few seconds. Feeling how cold the air was. Smelling the odor of stale cigarettes. Hearing the voices of people you haven't seen in years.

And you can't help but wonder why. Why you remember one particular moment out of so many others just like it. Why you remember sitting on the edge of your bed, listing to a new Pink Floyd album. Why you remember your fifth grade teacher telling stories about the war . Why you have such a vivid recollection of walking to a certain place on a certain day and remembering what the weather was like, what the sky was like, how much money was in your pocket. Even what shoes you were wearing.

Because it's not as though you consciously choose to remember these particular moments and throw out others. Others that are equally commonplace and ordinary. No. It's as if your brain held a contest, and certain snapshots of your life won the right to hang out in your head forever. Your grandmother sitting on the front porch, shelling peas just picked from the garden. The spot where you parked your car, so it would leak oil all over your parents driveway. Sneaking Vodka in to a Adam Ant rock concert. And oddly enough, these aren’t even memories that make you happy or sad when they pop into your head. They are just memories about nothing in particular. Just proof that you have lived.

Just memories of an ordinary life.

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