Memories: The Architecture of Our Identity

Today, we are sitting at our desks, plugging away. 

The beehive is zinging and the air outside so bitter, so cold, it’ll snatch the breath from your lungs.  The sky tinged with hints of sun, I watch another man pause in the parking lot, as if it’s his only moment of happiness for the day. 

This morning I listened to frozen rain pelt the bedroom window.  My dog lifted his head up and then promptly laid it on my hip, with a heavy sigh.  I rubbed the back of his neck while whispering, “I know, I know. Who wants to go today? I’d rather stay here.”  I fumbled in the dark again, tip toeing on the tile as always.  As my husband says, “Shit, shower, shave- let’s get a move on!”

Each maneuver feels as if I’m in a waiting line.  A ticket to be handed in, the anticipation of the ride rolling up my shins and into my stomach.  Today however, I just hand in my ticket and stare blankly.  The waiting line just moves in continuous turns. I dim my spirit, I snuff out the dream today.

My car is covered in ice and chunks of frozen snow. In the dark, as the engine warms the rest of the body, I exhale.  My breath escapes my mouth in little puffs.  I watch as they disappear almost as quickly as they emerged.  I drive in the dark again, listening to the frozen leaves crunch beneath the weight of the car.  At the second red light, I hear screaming ice as I shatter it’s smooth surface.  The wind is not howling, it is wailing.  A desperate plea for rest, which will not come.

The morning and afternoon has moved along like a well oiled machine.  I’ve made sure the rusty can is full and set next to me at all times.  I try to figure out my next move and I find myself scribbling half worded poems:

Your dreams stack on top of one another. Little failures in missionary position. Like sex on a Monday night. 

My pen makes additional scribbles and scratches.  I find myself hesitating on what I want to say next, so I tuck the pen behind my ear and fold the paper back into fours.  This is how I write during the day.  One sheet of paper, folded in half longwise and again in half- as if I’m tucking the words in for a nap.  Sometimes I wonder that if I continue to tuck them in like that, if they’ll wake up refreshed and ready to be known.

As the beehive here settles into a calm hum, I find myself wishing for the hot sting of the sun on my thighs.  The roar of the ocean as it comes closer to shake the shore’s hand. The delicate way I slumber in a chair as my toes bury themselves in the cool sand.  There are a few who join in and agree with me, while others wiggle into their scarves declaring the wailing wind and murderous cold their favorite time of year. 

With a quick, unnoticed sigh, I take stock of what’s in front of me and whisper a thank you.





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