My catalog of you.
January 29, 2017 § 9 Comments
You and I go way back.
Way, way back.
I know you through a trail of moments that shine like a comet’s tail all the way to the horizon.
Vanished moments, vanished days? None are really gone. They’re all right here in my catalog of you.
Versions you have outgrown or discarded? Got ’em, right here. Preserved as if in amber. The you of right-now is the hardest for me to see because I view you through the lens of all the yous I have known over the years.
I carry with me at all times, the scrapbook of you–I can open to any page.
Old? You’re not old. I’ve known you young and that’s who you are. What wrinkles?
If you are my best and oldest friend I still see you with chapped knees, waiting with me at the school bus stop up north. Remember up north? We’re still from there although it’s been years.
We don’t see each other all that often. Family and work obligations. You know… We are arrested at some point in the past, back when we had time, back when we were close.
That’s who you are to me, and who I am to you, still a couple of kids at the bus stop, or college roommates, or student teachers at the same elementary school. We could pick up that thread easy, if and when we get together.
If you are my parent I will be the last to realize you are failing. You’ve cared for me. You’re the grownup. I will assume the role of parenting you, but it will break my heart and in some small way I will resent the role reversal, because I still need a parent.
And that’s you.
You are the parent, I am the child, that’s our steady state.
If you are my life partner the layers have drifted so deep that this moment is hard to see. This you is hard to see. We’ve banked a number of days almost too large to count.
We all want the freedom to change. But we want the mirror of memory as well, the assurance that who we have been matters so much we have been committed to memory like a prayer or the melody of a favorite song.
Because I have memorized you, you are the hardest person to know in this moment. You have changed and I have too, but comfort comes from familiarity, and familiarity comes from that dog-eared scrapbook of images and shared stories told so often they shine.
I know when you’ll laugh. You know when I’ll pause for effect.
Who you are right now, right this second, would be easier for a stranger to see. So I will leave it to that stranger to judge who you are as you stand in front of them, caught in the crystal moment of right-now.
I can’t. I’ve known you too well for too long.
I am the curator of you.
And you are the curator of me.
Remember the time…?