Posts tagged memories
Posts tagged memories
and sometimes the only way you can hold on…is in your memory.
sometimes things happen that will bring out a side of your nature that you forgot even existed. since my transition a year ago, my highly sensitive, highly emotional self has mostly manifested in the form of tears—sometimes even sobs. moving away from my family, becoming detached from everything that was my life for 30 years, and the solitude of a soul-less city like LA, has created a pitri dish of emotions—often magnifying parts of my psyche that have long been forgotten…and then something will happen.
today i was reminded of one of my mom’s favorite stories from my childhood—an experience that i was far too young to ever recall on my own that, however, is a perfect example of a personality trait that i’ve never grown out of, but may have put to rest for a bit of time.
growing up i lived in two-bedroom in a decent-sized apartment complex with my mom and dad, little sister and a mut from my dad’s youth (later becoming my mom, her boyfriend, my little sister, her 6 ft iguana, and often her boyfriend/soul mate). it was tight, and we were often piled on top of each other, which forced me to learn to just let things be sometimes…the constant poking of a little sis, the never-ending nagging of an over-caring mother, the lack of privacy…live and let live was the only way to survive. who wants to spend their life fighting every day?
in spite of all the patience learned, my emotions became a sleeping bear—snoring through most of the insanity—even if outside disturbances caused the occasional nightmare, they were my nightmares that i endured in solitude. However, at times the mania became too much to sleep through, and if pushed too hard, the beast would awaken…which was exactly the case with my now best friend, Traci. poor Traci.
i was always a well-behaved child. Mom made sure of it. always said please and thank you, never spoke unless spoken to, didn’t talk back (until my sassy teenage years), and never…ever…used foul language or mom would make me a nice plate of dial soap for dinner. but there was ONE time that i managed to expel the F-bomb without suffering punitive damages, and a 5-year old Traci was on the receiving end.
Traci lived up the block. my mom used to babysit her. we spent a lot of time together, which lent itself to plenty of opportunities to get on each others nerves, as i’m sure we did…often…i just can’t remember. As my mom likes to tell it, we were enjoying a lovely swim together in the community pool—a favorite hangout for the Terrace crowd—when Traci decided it would be fun to dunk me under water. not cool Traci. It happened quite a few times, (i’m sure there were tears and desperate pleas of release somewhere in there), before i climbed out of the pool, dramatically stomped my foot and in my best outdoor voice belted a single statement: “EFF* YOU TRACI!” [*substitute “EFF” with your favorite F-word and mine]. I had had enough.
that threshold is something that i’ve carried with me throughout my life…opting most often to internalize my frustration rather than voice it, often resulting in personal determent, but also personal growth. i had to learn to let MANY things slide. i constantly tested my limits and boundaries, making excuses for bad behavior or things that caused me pain, and ultimately it made me stronger—still a cry baby—but stronger.
Ever think of someone and just smile?
You know when you read that one person came to mind…and i bet when they did, a certain memory came to mind as well…a mental snapshot. Your own personal phantasmal caricature quixotically embodying a perfect image within your memory. Can you describe it? I can.
His hair is messy…not intentionally messy, and also not just-rolled-out-of-bed messy…messy because i messed it up. because i like it that way, and he’s ok with it. i kind of love that.
His face wears a bit of a shadow…he has not shaven since the morning before, and we slept in a little too late morning to properly clean up before heading out…he makes small sacrifices in the name of my demanding stomach. [i just smiled again].
His eyes glow, because they always do when he smiles at me and because his never-wrinkled crisp white tee shirt seems to illuminate the crystal-like quality of his blue irises. They beam right through me and they make me feel loved.
His jeans fit perfectly…they rest on his hips, dangling from that damn obstacle he calls a brown belt [hate that belt :)], and fall straight three some-odd-feet to the floor—baggy where they should be, and just snug enough around his ass.
He goes to kiss me, and the unfamiliar taste of imported beer fills my mouth, the smell of a smokey bar on his skin…his hands crawl around my waist and i feel his palms slide up the back of my shirt and his fingers leave a trail of goosebumps wherever they land…
it makes me smile…that’s how i remember you.
Sometimes I write just because I need to get something off my chest [enter last week’s frustration with the idea of settling or giving less than your best]. It was a bit off topic for me, but relevant just the same and still regarding emotion and relationships.
Something that can be felt in my writing, but is not often identified, is happiness…
It’s not that I am a stranger to the emotion, I know it well, but unfortunately it is one of those that is oft overlooked…taken for granted…and not just by myself. I think most people share the same sentiment of always striving to achieve the next goal and, dare I say it, never stop to smell the potted plant.
Well, this weekend I smelled it…and it was wonderful [and listen you, I just leaned in and smelled, it. I didn’t turn the pot, super sleuth. I didn’t even touch it]. Wanna know what it smells like?
It smells like a cupcake…a perfect vanilla frosted cupcake with sprinkles all over.
And candy corn kisses…and nerds shared over a night cap.
It smells like popchips in a cemetery,
And cranberry blonde ale with grilled corn on the cob eaten typewriter-style *BING!*
It smells like sweat and hipsters dancing in a dusty field…
Like dirty sheets and sunbathing…
Like never-ending emails, and sad songs rewritten.
Like metrocards and showertime singalongs (lemme go onnnn…)
Blueberries, and the world’s best French toast…
Like new shoe shelves…and a vacuum that can pick up cheerios!
Like shark blue and darth vadar kids
And leprechauns with pierced tongues and royal rubies that never made it across the pond (tisk.)
Like interrupted Christmas songs and stinky fingers (ew.)
It smells like love was here…
It’s funny, sometimes, the things we get attached to. I still have my first doll…What is today a old, beat-up, scruffy, stuffed animal, was once my best friend and my whole world. I’m pretty sure mom still has my first tooth…My sister still has my dad’s old wallet. Little trinkets of our past can hold deep meaningful memories of our youth, of times of transition, celebration, milestones in our lives…and will remain forever as symbols of how far we’ve come.
I lost my fish today…I know, you were imagining something more profound. Silly how emotional I am about my fish…so much so that I have been inspired to write, but if you follow me on twitter, you would know that I have spent countless days and nights, poured much blood, sweat, and tears into maintaining Frankenfish and his 28 gallon underwater wonderland (which was hardly a wonderland, but it was nice, i think). I can’t really say that it has been solely a selfless humane effort either. He was my first pet. A symbol of my independence. I got him 6 years ago, wow, almost 7 now, when I first moved into my own place. He was my first responsibility other than myself.
So…he was special to me. I was attached. We both outlived our roommates, we both hate my cats, and when I got bigger diggs, he got a bigger tank. Even with my upcoming move, I knew he could not come with me, but I was excited that he would take up residence at my sister’s place, where my nephew could enjoy him. I think he would have…enjoyed him.
I know that 7 years is a long life for a fish, and even as I’m sitting her crying and writing this, I am not unaware of how ridiculous and juvenile it sounds—thoughts of Brittany singing about her cup in the last episode of Glee, Horcrux’s in Harry Potter, and even some absolute ridiculousness from some book I read about a dragon come to mind—but we don’t choose what will and will not have meaning in our lives. I bet you some of you have held on to a sliver of paper pulled from a stale Chinese fortune cookie because the message had some kind of meaning for you…or a ticket stub from a game or a concert or a show, a birthday card, a photograph…all paper. No heartbeat, but it still has meaning, right?
What it comes down to are the memories and ideas we attach to objects, and the love we pour into them.
My apartment feels so quiet now…