and i need the practice before this sneaks into my schoolwork.
(when you read need the practice, it means i am in a writing slump
and now i am doomed which means bad writing ahead)
memory decay; for february eighth, 2008
because there are people that i miss that aren't around
and people that i don't want being around
You cannot completely forget a person.
You can try. You can forget that they had a face and features, you can forget that they had a name and a voice, you can forget that they laughed with you and cried with you and shared all the things that a face can't share. But you cannot forget someone as simply as you can forget what made that person -- although that certainly would make things easier.
A person can be felt. Can be held. A person is not just a name or a face. A person meant something.
(I think for a moment that he--)
You cannot completely forget a person because some part of them will stay inside you. It's a fair trade; sometimes. (And what did they get?) You cannot completely forget a person even though a person can be turned into a half-hearted memory; but even memories can have association, to sound, to touch, to taste--
To wholeness; to the crackle of thunder in the distance and the coldest nights spent in another's company; to something that is too precious to be forgotten but too delicate to be thought upon.
Amnesia helps. In a counter-productive sense though, because instead forgetting a person, it takes everything. Slurps it/them/she/he down into some bottomless, dark pit you can't trace or find the end of, until they are gonegonegone and you forget if there was anyone that held your hand or pulled you up or if there was actually anything at all. Amnesia is a different matter entirely, because it is not forgetting: it is thievery where you are your own thief and justice is the most unlikely thing from here to kingdom come.
What you can do instead is to make a person into a memory and leave them to become a memory among many other memories. (You can stop thinking whilst you're at it: memories can have association and you can't leave them untouched if you see something familiar again.)
Or: you may not even need to do that at all.
(I tried once. Did you know that? Tried so hard, tried to forget and forget until all I did was memorise what I wanted lost. A memory can burn; it can be etched in your head until it becomes obscure with age. Until then though, it'll obscure your eyesight.)
You can burn photographs though. You burn photographs because a photograph is a shadow, a faux-memory caught in light; it is not a completely, whole thing, and it is harder to break whole things. Photographs do not bleed ink or blood -- they crumple and wither when they burn, until they become ash, until they are lighter than feathers but still impossible to touch (because you cannot forget that they are remnants of fire) and if you want, you can take them and scatter them into the sky; scatter the remains of someone up into the sky for everyone to see.
(Usually, they won't. It's easier to stare into the sun and be blinded momentarily than to look at another's pain. Be careful with these things; court bad luck too often and someone's bad fortune will come to your doorstep instead.)
(I think I loved you once. Once was enough, though. Enough to eat you up inside, to hurt you and to make you think things you never would have considered before.
Sometimes, it can be good.
Others: not so good.
Less frequently: it can make you stronger.
And almost always, it leaves a trail, a mark, makes a change that can be irreversible. Sometimes, it can be a good change.)
You cannot forget a person because they might have meant something to you; friend, lover, Roman and countrymen. It is easier to forget something/someone that did not matter, but it's usually never that easy, because anything could mean something, three words can become the world and one single look can bring a decision down to its knees. Because a face is not just a face -- a face could be a person, who could have laughed with you or cried with you and shared themselves with you. A person who might have mattered, who you hated too much or loved too much but meant something that someone else did not mean in the same way. Who gave you a part of themselves when you gave a part of yourself to them.
(It's a fair trade. Sometimes.)
Or you can not try to forget someone, because in the end, it is easier to remember than to forget. Forget, forget the name and the voices and the things that made a face into a person into someone who mattered and you lose the part of you that was a part of them that they gave to you, maybe unwittingly, maybe unwillingly.
(Maybe they left a mark and you haven't gone around to erasing it. Maybe that's the best way to remember them; without fully knowing, without completely thinking of it but not losing it amongst a myriad of memories.)
but you can't go on like this you know
and you're thinking about how someone died that day
the you that was so carefully planned
but then again maybe this life is like a sleeping mountain
waking up to shape the land
-- shasta, VIENNA TENG