A Duck Hears Also

My inner critic distracts me with loud stories about my flaws. My inner critique helps me with objective feedback about how I could solve a problem.


The scariest part about memory

Do you know what the scariest part about a memory is?
It took me eighteen years of living, breathing, going through the motions, collecting experiences, hating you and hating me to come to this conclusion.

Memory doesn’t exist unless two people talk about it.
Unless the two people in that specific memory verbalise that scared, shared experience you both had, what guarantee do you have that whatever happened between the two of you actually happened? How can you prove that four years ago on that summer night, he held your hand and twirled you around the barn, dancing to your favourite song?

How can you believe that they profoundly confessed their love to you three years ago, when the air smelt like strawberries and the moon lightly illuminated the glow of their face? How can you ever confirm the existence of this significant event?

The other night, I was laying down in bed as usual. I shut my eyes, and every single time I took a breath in all I could picture was your face. Pesky, lingering thoughts of your scent, your skin, your soul began invading my memory. Like a sequence in your typical coming of age movie, the countless nights we’d spent together came rushing back into my mind.

At first, I was hit with a strange, bitter sort of sadness tinged with rose coloured nostalgia. I wondered if you ever lay in bed like me, thinking about everything we had been through.

Yet strangely, all of a sudden, I began doubting the sanity of my mind. I began doubting those memories, the highlight reel. Was it strawberries or cherries in the picnic basket? Was it roses, or lilies, or daisies? Did the barn we stayed at even exist? Did you ever take me on a trip, and did you ever exist?

I told myself that you’d have probably moved on by now and replaced me, and that’s okay. But then I thought — if you’re not thinking about what we had like how I lay awake thinking about everything we’ve shared, then could it really have happened? Did it? I realised, if you don’t lay awake think about that night, then the memory has died in my mind alone.

It seemed like with every passing second that you were not in my life anymore, the reliability, tangibility, and realness of the memory began to slowly fade into the abyss. And all I could do was helplessly try my best to keep the memory of that night alive by reliving it again and again.

So, please, the next time you furtively glance down at the floor when we pass each other in hallways, or even in another life, I beg you, give me a sign to prove that everything we had was real. A little smile, a nod, or a wave. I’m not asking for much, just confirmation that the very memory and the version of you and I in my head exists, even if it was years ago. Don’t be a stranger.

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