Memories are made of

It’s so strange to think that a year ago I was hiking through Lincolnshire. It seems so long ago. One of these days I’ll get around to finishing telling those tales – there are still so many left to tell!

As I walked, I kept a very tiny notebook and just jotted down things that I saw, impressions I had, conversations that moved me. A very, very tiny notebook, but so full of memories. Keeping these little notebooks is something I’ve done all my life, but I’ve fallen out of the habit lately. I must get back into it, because one day I will forget all of this *she gestures all around her*

notebook-and-pen-2

Sometimes C will ask me if I remember such and such a thing at such and such a place. No, I say, it doesn’t ring a bell. And she describes a street or a waiter or a window or a lounge room or a merry-go-round or a meal or whatever it takes until – BAM – there it is. I am there on that street, at that window, talking to that waiter, eating that meal, riding on that merry-go-round. That’s what’s good about a daily notebook. It has those triggers there waiting for you, all you need do is flick through those pages and there you are, beneath Isaac Newton’s apple tree, in that muddy field with the broken shoes, having a breakfast at the cafe before the bus, seeing foul mushrooms in every dark crevice, walking down a street so dark only the ghosts can see it.

Maybe this is why we have partners – to help fill in the gaps in our memories and remember the things we don’t.

– It was a Tuesday
No, it was a Wednesday
– and we were having chicken
no dear we were having mutton

That sort of thing.

We all remember different things – and differently – and when we come together perhaps we get the whole or something close to it. A puzzle? Not so much. Something more organic, overlapping. A quilt, or a patchwork.

Badly made.

With holes.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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