The song comes on and I’m overwhelmed. Like the push of Iodine before an x-ray, I feel a warming in my blood. Memories float back — I’m napping in the sun and you come over and touch my hair. You’re sitting on my window ledge, smoking a cigarette and swigging from your bottle of gin. Together we’re riding a bus through the desert, or cooking dinner, or wandering the city.

It makes me sad. To think back at how wonderful it was and how happy and excited we both were to be exploring each other and everything around us. And to know that we’re so far from that, that place, and each other right now.

I haven’t listened to the song in awhile.


Today I walked back after class and the sun was out. The weather was unusually dry and so the heat was barely noticeable. That same sadness flooded into me, and I realized the day was so much like those we’d shared before. I hurry inside, under the fluorescent lights, to expunge the thoughts from my brain. It works. The memories melt like Spring snow. I’m able to finish my day.

Then you message me. A text or an e-mail or an instant message, and those same memories invade again. They sink their talons into my forebrain and hold tight, relentlessly forcing me to face our distance, once again.

And you say something sweet. Or sexy. Or caring or thoughtful or just something so typically you that I can’t help but smile, and I’m happy again. I don’t mind the memories because they’re not all in the past. I’m making new ones right now. Maybe they’ll be better. Maybe then I can hear my song again.

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