I’m walking down the street. Don’t forget how my body moves, the way my hair blows in the wind and how the light shines over the curve of my jaw. Don’t forget, when I stumble, that I laugh or try to right myself, which usually ends with me shrieking in mortified embarrassment.
They say my laugh bursts out of me, in a cacophany I’m told is ‘cute’. Remember how my voice changes, when the sun sinks below the horizon; think of the soft words I spoke and the heavy truths within them. My laughter echoes in empty hallways, standing beside you by a river, and gripping another’s hand in the dark of a place I thought I would hate. Little words, tiny words, yet still meaningful.
My hair streamed out behind me in the wind, soft as a feather. Remember how that can never define me, for delicacy is something I will never possess – with a once harsh tone, and eyes full of stabbed backs, I was never a pretty flower. I turned to you, sharing a moment of horror, laughing as the notes reached a crescendo in a once war-torn country. Look into my mind, and remember how beautiful that felt; free as a bird and happy as a lark.
The way I pressed the coins into your hand, the last time I would ever stand in front of you as anything more than an acquaintance. Breathing, in the dark, with a shared secret that never passed my lips, nor my hands, nor my heart. The very essence that defined our net of trust, gold then green in its intensity. Before it broke, remember how I was there, present, constant, as the earth.
Fingertips on piano keys. Head held high while the tears fell. Eyes reflected in the fire that we could barely see. An unexpected thank you, shared in the silence of something already broken. Lips upon tentitive lips, once, twice, thrice; guilt fading as the tide washes out.
In a patchwork of memories, you – the you of past and present, the multiple people that have shaped me – fly past. Don’t forget my happiness, stepping out of a changing room and feeling like a queen, with a dress flowing like the ocean. Don’t forget my quiet certainty, a split second before an action that set me on the path of loving who I could.
Small face, little hands, and a smile only when there is no click of a camera. Trying to be in the foreground of a place where you were yourself, free, able to stand up and scream if you wanted to.
I can’t capture me in a post, in a paragraph or sentence or word. I’m more than that, more than a song sung to discordant melodies. Time flows, but as long as there’s breath in the air, it can’t forget me. I can’t forget me.
Though you’re only one among billions, you make memories that will last a lifetime. The simple gestures, laughs and tears live on, in people to come and in the minds of people that will always – ALWAYS – remember who we are, until they’re gone too. It’s a chain of which we’ll never see the end, but it’s okay to realise that we’re just a metallic link.
Know who I am, as much as I do. Don’t let me disappear, in the midst of my turmoil and confusion. Don’t let me be selfish or hurt or angry, and keep these collages of people safe.
Don’t let it fade. Impressions of memories cannot be easily taken away.
From Elm 🙂