I claim to be a descriptive being. (Claim being the main word.) But there will always be things much too difficult for me to put into words. I seem to colorfully depict a persona so assured of her ways and path when all I do know, is that I cannot be certain of anything. And I am not in control. And these are two things I’ve struggled with in my lifetime, but have come to understand. I also know that in as much as I’d like to believe that I’m self-sufficient and strong…I’m not. I’ve never been. It’s hard for me to describe the linear familiarity I briefly sampled in one single minute today. The knowing that who I am is who I have always been. That’s all it took to take me back to what I would know as my earliest memory. We will call my mishap in thinking Exhibit A to be the first, in which I’ve dedicated a short [story] to. It is terribly incorrect. (Please refer to Exhibit A.)
Chronophotographic.” September 13, 2012
Billowy pine needles, dancing down to the earthened carpet. It is tussled by the likes of the sea, and I, hand in hers, try to see what her orbs spy. My eyes defy me. I think we’re just searching for one facet of the past to hold on to—but I’m not familiar with the idea of home. There was nothing as precious as the bouquet of wrinkles to piece together such a warm soul. And my first reminder of this life was being held and comforted, feeling further from the next assembly of land when it was what I was to know. A cuffed shirt displayes Minnie Mouse, in a misanthropic manner. There’s no way any of it could have been real. I just think it was the initial sensation of the spines entering my sandals, in the sort-of way I’ve never liked, and the-very-much-so-innate-way I glorify the smell of evergreens, especially the ones on the edge of the water. Because they remind me too much of myself, perhaps. Puede ser.
And I wish I could say this was, indeed, it. But, alas, it is not. I have a photograph of this moment in a dusty shoebox somewhere and seeing as I had revisited the site of said memoir about nine years ago, I’m afraid it is more the sentiment I feel I imagined it to me, more so that the concrete point in time my great-grandmother held oh-so-little-me in her arms. So sad. Yet true. True as the little I do know. Because thinking and knowing are different and, sometimes, enthusiastically interchanged. As I sit in a new swivel-chair at work, writing at the speed of 299,792,458 meters/second, the feeling creeps in. And I meet with Madame Déjà Vu for the first time, not by sight, or sound, but by the hopelessly ominous feeling that starts at my feet and radiates upward…
Exhibit B: My subconscious paints me something short of five and I’m standing awfully close to the curb in front of my favorite supermarket. I’m crying hard. Wailing screams and flailing arms hard. It’s my favorite store because the people are nice and the aisles are long and endless. In my dream, I run back inside the store in the same frantic state, only to find that the aisles I normally love, (and usually stocked with all of my favorite foods) are now barren, dark, and much longer than I remember. I wander, frenzied, back and forth, up and down these lanes, until I come to the realization that I should not be in here alone, and that I must have arrived to this place with my family. I am now in slow motion making my way outside as fast as I can to the curb. My vision pans slowly to the image of my parents’ legs entering a cab whose doors are closing. The taxi cab is driving away. My legs are moving too slow. The feeling.
The sensation is a funny one and truly awkward. The closest you’ll get to understanding what it feels like is that nervous-y tinge you get when you squeeze your buttchecks together—really hard. (I encourage you try it so that I may best exemplify the fact.) Now, imagine feeling something substantially stronger than this in a dream, as a seven-year-old. You’re full-fledged running after your family as a younger version of yourself but time is warped and dimensions are shifted and somehow you’re just in slow-mo. And it’s too late. And they’ve left you. Now imagine the twenty-five-year-old version of yourself is actually at work, today, and you just get this feeling. It’s something I’ve only ever felt before in a dream as a child, and today, as I was sitting down, just trying to live my life in an organized and civilized adult manner, as I almost always strive for, I was visited by such a thing.
As intense as this strange parade of seconds of paralysis and frightening affect was, it sent my mind for a whirlwind. I recalled my dream almost immediately and in viewing these images of lost bewilderment, I think of my precious youth…being held in a small park by the seaside as a three-year-old by the mother of my mom’s mother in the little time we shared together on this earth. And I think of how several doors down from my favorite supermarket was the birthplace of my first fear. My infant sister cried indefinitely and I remember how much seeing her in pain scared me. Her cries sank to the soles of my feet, and steadily bellowed upward. And I remember being carried by my mother in this moment.
She had gotten her ears pierced.
I was only two.
(Please refer to Exhibit C.)