Thursday, July 26, 2007

Molten memories

With time, her memories have become like yellowed pages curling in on the edges. Here and there words are smudged, and phrases are lost. Like she doesn’t remember the words M used to shriek down the phone line every afternoon, the moment she got home from school. She remembers the high-pitched tone, the lilt of her voice, the way the words rushed together to become one word. But the words themselves are lost.
She strains to remember them. Trying different permutations and combinations of words that fit the tone. Different words that say the same thing. She says them at varying speeds, in different accents. Shuffles them back and forth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to find that phrase that the phone would shout back at her every afternoon of the torrid Delhi summer. But the tone is stuck in her head, playing on endless repeat.
At the time, she thought those memories had become frozen in her mind. Like the images on that last reel of photographs of them together, taken on that warm afternoon spent at A’s house. The one she’d exposed by mistake while fiddling with the camera. Memories permanently frozen on an exposed film reel; never to see the light of the dark room, never developed.
Now, she wishes she could make her memory whole again. Pick up the phone and dial the number that she, oddly, still remembers and hear M gush those words at her. Then maybe the endless repeat would end; the way you just have to hear a song once it’s stuck in your head to make it go away. She wishes it were as easy as that. Hitting play on the cassette player and satisfying the craving. But she’s afraid all she will hear is the silence at the end of a song.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

veryNice, n...

Haven't been here in 5 or 6 years.
Hope you're well...