I Put This Moment Here


“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.” ― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

I have a memory like a sieve.  My recollections of the past come to me in flashes and snippets and I have to be mindful not to fall into one of the many great blank holes when traipsing around in half-forgotten yesterdays. Part of it is the result of a built-in self-defense mechanism, tamping down the harmful events that one never quite survives intact. The rest? Just plain negligence. I am a poor caretaker of retrospection.

And for a while I wasn’t bothered by it. Then I reached a point in life when memories—–of love and pain and the whole damned thing—-became important because I found myself wanting to catalog my journey before I reached the end of the race (it’s always closer than you expect and they say you never see the finish line with your name on it).

But now, when I recount the tales of the various and sundry someones who impacted my life before blowing away like a leaf in the wind, someones whose names I used to be able to recite by rote, those names have now taken up permanent residence on the tip of my tongue but never so close as to venture past my lips.

I find that in order to remember a past event, I have to place it in a location that’s visible so that I don’t misplace it along with my keys and smartphone. I have chosen this place as the soil in which to plant my evaporating memories before they’re gone forever.

I put this moment here:

Of the girl that I fancied in the first grade whose name might have been Cheryl or Shirley but for some reason I remember it as “Squirrel,” whom I wrote about when the teacher asked the class to write about something we loved. And that selfsame teacher thinking it was so adorable that she took me to Squirrel’s class and made me read it aloud to her. You’re never too young to discover embarrassment.

I put this moment here:

Of the German woman who made me my first brown bag lunch for school that consisted of a healthy liverwurst sandwich which I enjoyed the taste of but stopped eating altogether after being teased at school by the other kids for eating dog food. It hurt her feelings and I wish I had a stronger conviction to continue eating the lunches she prepared with love.

I put this moment here:

Of the asexual woman I worked with at a car rental agency who looked like a young Peggy Lipton and lived in New Jersey. I remember riding the Path train to her house and we would regularly break dawn discussing her passion, serial killers. She didn’t own a television and instead had an impressive collection of serial killer and unsolved murder case books. I found her fascinating and in hindsight I suppose I’m lucky that I never went missing.

I put this moment here:

Of the woman I worked with at a banking institution who I wound up spending a bizarre New Year’s Eve with as we searched Manhattan for the perfect place to ring in the new year and wound up laying in the grass of Central Park making resolutions and wishing on stars for a better year to come.

Sometimes when my mind is idle, I struggle to recall the names of people and events trapped within synaptic pathways that withered from non-use, names and events I feel I should remember because of the emotions that linger despite the fact the memories have faded and recognition has faltered.

I lament the loss of these remembrances because they’re all a part of me and I’m afraid to learn the answer to what of myself will remain when all the memories have faded away.

Gather ye memories while ye may. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Sally forth and be Thanksgivingly writeful.

©2013 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

Creative Commons License

10 responses to “I Put This Moment Here

  1. I, too, have a memory like a sieve. Sometimes I would like those bottled up memories so that I could uncork them too. Other times I would like them so they could stay corked forever!


  2. Ew. Thanksgivingly? Hahahaha. Nah, you’re cool. Actually, thought this post was well-written and funny >>>> dog food >>>> as if it’s any different than your other stuff, but seriously (when will the sentence end), I often think if I don’t write it down or try to write it down, my memories will just be lost.

    But it can be so much fun to talk w/ friends and family about what they remember. I’m not sure if folks with exceptional memories are better off, just maybe a little crazier.


    • I stand by Thanksgivingly, thank you very much, and as a pioneer of prose (hey! I like that!) I’m not afraid to twist my mother tongue into the shapes of my choosing.

      Muchos gracias on the compliment, you yet again heap upon me undeserved praise… but I’ll take it anyway.

      The odd yet fascinating thing about discussing the past with friends and fam, other than the differing perspectives on the same events, is the way they picture you and the impressions they had of you at the time.

      You never really know how other people see you.

      I’d love to have a photographic memory (it’d make cataloging my life a whole lot easier) but on the flipside, suddenly remembering something you haven’t thought about in years is like finding a gold nugget in your mental sifting pan amongst the mud.

      Stay gold, Lani Cox, stay gold.


  3. Pingback: I Put This Moment Here | Mired In Mundanity - M...

  4. Pingback: Top Ten 2013 Mundanities I Didn’t Mind Being Mired In | Mired In Mundanity

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