My past is not shared with anyone anymore.
That’s why the memories are so painful. Yes, I have memories- and I write them all down in another private journal- all of the funny stories, hidden jokes, and just random moments we shared alone together. I write them down so that one day, far in the future, I might smile and find comfort in them. But I write them for then, before they slip into the dark recesses of my brain, not for now.
Today I thought of one, where once again- it wasn’t a beautiful, perfect memory, but a trying time that is so much more endearing to me now because of that. We were looking for an apartment- which we did for years in order to get out of a difficult living situation in Brooklyn, but couldn’t find anything in our very low budget. We looked at one that I’d been really hopeful about by the description in Carroll Gardens, but it turned out to be another dump. It had snowed the night before, so we trudged down the street back towards the subway on the snowy sidewalks, I in front of you. I was almost in tears because I was so disappointed, and just then, some kid someone had hired to clean off their front stoop, was shoveling away without looking at all to see if anyone was on the sidewalk and just threw a giant mound of heavy, wet snow, right onto my head. I was winded and surprised by it, almost knocked down. You were furious, yelling at the kid as I tried to tell you he didn’t do it on purpose. “Still, he should look where he’s going…are you OK?” I just began to cry…but then we laughed because it was ridiculous…and it seemed like God had a great sense of humor that just when I was feeling so much self-pity, walking my sad walk down the street, I would have snow shoveled onto my head. Remember that? “Remember that?” That’s what I would say if you were here.
But you’re not.
And no one else does.
Memories with your spouse are not like memories you share with anyone else. They aren’t yours as individuals- they are yours as one entity. They aren’t mine and his, they were “ours.” Those memories when recalled together were like an embrace…or interlocking fingers. Now they are just my arms, and my fingers.