I used to keep a box of mementos of ex-lovers; they include things like ticket stubs, letters, photos, tags that come with the gifts I received, receipts of the gifts I’d given and the like. I keep these things mostly because I’m a hoarder but I’d given all of them up for the security of one of those ex-lovers a few years back. I was conflicted then because I’ve added to this box over years and years, but that was it. Pretty much like when people grow attached to coins, stamps, Mac Donald’s Hello Kitty plushees; it’s because they’ve started so long ago and it’s become an integral part of - not them but - their routine. These things aren’t mementos, they’re simply a collection.
When I look at these mementos, they only bring back faded memories, I’d probably remember that time, place, that person face and name… But they don’t bring back the feelings.
I preserve people in writing. Because I want to remember them. I want to remember when they made me feel like I was on top of the world, I was unstoppable, I was the most important thing to them, I was loved, I was beautiful, I was fading, I was beaten, I was weak, I was bitter, I was lost, I was forgotten.
So they found their way; bleeding onto pages, appearing as bytes on screens. Etching themselves into me as they become carved hieroglyphics in my bones, painted pottery across the curves of my body, woven tapestry in the network of my synapses, skilfully forged swords across my back, a string piece played in the hollow small of my neck.
This is a gift for us. Whilst perhaps some are in a hurry to dismiss and forget, they bury in the deepest of themselves only to be engulfed later; I will hold onto them for the rest of my life. While many may think it’s denial of not letting go, I’d carry them and embrace new experiences, I’d measure everybody against you. I’ll admit that there was once a ‘you’ and I will tell them of all that I have learnt in experiences, lessons and scars.
I acknowledge I’ve been moulded in my time with them because I will never stop appreciating the ones who have come and gone, or the ones who are on their way when the calm is here and love is all mighty.