Call Me

I’ve got to see you soon or I’ll go mad.

I think I might miss you. Maybe. I’m not sure.
It’s that I have an affliction, see. Like short-term memory loss but worse. It’s not names or places or rudimentary material like that. Nothing you can write down in a journal and list out. Those I’m really good at. I can tell you the names of all your friends, of your favorite restaurants, of your most watched TV shows, all 23 of them complete with episode count and showtimes. I know your work schedule back to front and what you eat for lunch.

That’s a whole other thing – that I can’t forget. I can’t forget every song you’ve ever liked enough to tell me. I can’t forget the colors of your dresses or the stickers on your car or the address of your rented house. That information stays with me forever. Girlfriend after girlfriend. House after house after phone number after email address after Spotify playlist after D.O.B.s and sometimes bank account code pins. A never ending compilation of background intelligence.
But as if to make-up for this, like some cosmic way of balancing out the world of advantages and disadvantages and you-shall-not-be-more-than-any-other-cretin-on-this-doomed-earth, I forget the rest.

I forget the love, the hate, the laughing, the longing or distaste. Every single intangible facet of what it means to be human and not a statistic.
If I remember your face, it is as in a photograph. I remember a snapshot, a Polaroid of what it was like that one Sunday afternoon or how you looked turning backwards exactly 30 degrees from the beach. Frozen, impossible to animate, high definition photos complete with background fixtures and whoever happened to be photobombing the scene from behind.
To try otherwise would be to recreate feature by painstaking feature. Imagine a chin, or the curve of an eyebrow. To try even harder would be like looking at you out of the corner of my eye. Stare too hard or too obviously and the image evaporates so all I’m left with is something out of focus and vaguely humanoid. All colors and shades and undefined lines. Have you ever had to try on someone else’s prescription lenses?

But I can remember the cut of your dress. I can pick your glasses out of a lineup of shades and spectacles at Oakley. I can tell you exactly what color of nail polish you wore and whether or not your fingers matched your feet.
It’s an out of sight out of mind thing. Reducing every single person to a data entry of likes and dislikes and biographic information to be filed away until further notice (like when we meet again or when I have to wish you happy birthday). I don’t know how to stop. Sometimes I want to freeze time and preserve something real. Like an emotion. A raw feeling. How do people hold on to feelings forever?
Please come back. I miss you. I miss you so much and if you don’t then I’m afraid I’ll stop. I’m afraid I won’t.

_______________________
Photo by Mikaela Shannon on Unsplash

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