The Persistence of Memory

One afternoon, as rain trickled onto the pavement and an ambulance sped by through the hazy streets, I was trying to recall the term for when the pitch of a sound alters due to the movement of its source,

That word for when something moves, unstoppably, away, and the noise it makes is transformed, veered from its original intention before disappearing.

Digging into the far recesses of my brain to lift the word out of its hiding place, I couldn’t make it resurface.

Entire conversations, scripts, places kept somewhere on the underside.

My brain does it for a reason, it polishes those things so far and out of reach, so desired and vague, tirelessly reinventing the same night.  It stuffs old information into dark compartments and leaves it internalized, ingested, and lost.

A space once saved for useful items, now replaced by things of no material value. Where there were once facts, now a face. Maps for a name. Dates for a singular gesture.

What came out of my mouth then? A story, a revelation, something which sang or hummed, bees of some sort.

That which I relayed, which I wasn’t aware of telling, in which you surely didn’t find importance. Which you quickly hid somewhere halfway between stairs and a room and under our sense of giving in.

Not what I didn’t tell or what I simply imagined. It’s what I let slip like a fish into a buried sea, as if it were a scene fabricated, and forgotten, under a cold wave of sleep.

11 thoughts on “The Persistence of Memory

  1. Neatly done.
    (I went through a period of difficulty accessing words. In conversation, trying to explain the shape and color of that precise sinkhole in your vocabulary.) Memory is a slippery fish.

  2. It is infuriating when that happens – I rely more and more on dictionaries and thesaurus. And it’s even more infuriating when the word pops up long after the need for it has passed. Doppler effect.

  3. Love how you write about the elusive word, which yet remains elusive, but seemed to have hauled up a shitload of something.

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