16: Void Diaries

My Messy Memories

The truth is, my memory is a mess.

I can only remember twenty lifetimes back, but on some dark mornings I think it could be more. I make myself an espresso and brush away the dream fuzz. 

No, less than twenty. 

I think I spent two lifetimes in Holland because I remember the sharp taste of cold air over the water and the buildings — all dollhouses piled together — and the language like strings of beads around my tongue. But I don’t know when because sometimes I remember the sound a sal makes when it catches the wind and the other times I remember a red convertible. 

 But the red convertible seems to have happened much earlier. How is that? 

 That red convertible memory is like a baby photograph that you have seen so many times you’re convinced you remember the moment. But do you want to know what’s even sharper than the convertible? 

 Sailing ships. 

 The stretch of breeches over my legs. 

 One thing is clear to me:

 Human minds are not meant to contain so many memories.


Remembering Faces?

I’m terrible with faces.

 Sometimes I meet people and I’m convinced I’ve met them before. It makes me more friendly, I suppose, but I’ve learned what the eyes look like when they meet someone for the first time. The eyes are wider and they blink less. 

 I abhor the disorientation that follows when you greet someone.

 Sometimes I think I’ve met them before. If anything makes me furious after so many lifetimes, it’s this. 

 And then there’s the ugly truth that appearances all start to blur together. Black hair and sharp face, and oh the glasses, and because I can’t control my mind, it’s the other things about people that stick with me past lifetimes. 

 The feel of a scar under my fingers. The smell of salt and an awful joke. He walked on his toes and tugged on his ear when he listened to music. She loved pickles and peanut butter. 

 The slant of an eye could belong to a child, a grandparent, or a damned clan. 

 So I crush the sensation of deja vu when I am introduced. I act like I’ve met no one before.

Appearances drive me mad. 


The Chaotic Computer

Catherine maintains that computers can be designed to handle information perfectly; they are better than the human mind. 

I have to work with her, so I swallow my disgust and wrap my superstitions more tightly around myself. 

Mechanics work with beautiful closed systems everyday. Dictionaries list words in columns. But making a sonnet is an another matter entirely, ripping up pages and words and the rise and fall of fairy tales, human souls. 

Millions of years and the world is still not a system, but a chaotic mess. 

Just like my memories.