My life zooms past me like a music video and I try to collect stills, soak into the moment and turn it into honey. But beauty is elusive. A friend once told me that to remember things exactly as they are while they’re happening, you should take a mental photo. So I collect them, day after day.
It’s the middle of June and we run barefoot on the blacktop, our feet on fire. At nine years old we are immortal, invincible, nothing can touch us. We don’t care about the bottoms of our feet burning off, we just devour the feeling of the wind in our long sandy hair as we sprint to the end of the block. When we’re together the entire world stands still and it’s just the two of us--two fairies, two mermaids, two pirates--anything we’ve ever dreamed can be a reality. The world welcomes us with open arms.
You see, there are times that certain things feel so familiar that it’s like a punch to the gut. I can’t always place it exactly but the feeling still stays.
I’m washing my hands in the bathroom with chestnut soap and suddenly I’m at my aunt’s house, a cacophony of voices talking in the next room over and holiday music playing from the speakers. It’s the contagious laughter of my grandmother during a card game; when she laughs the whole world feels a little brighter. Walking past a pungent fish market in Chinatown and being transported back to my grandpa’s “monster truck” --age eight, waiting in the backseat with my cousin while my grandpa sold fish to the man at the counter.
Maybe I hold on too tightly to things, but I don’t want to let go. It stays stored in my heart in certain smells that I can’t place, food that warms my soul, music that moves my entire being, and voices that remind me of home. I don’t want to ever forget.