Wednesday, August 12, 2015

on conscious forgetting:

So here are a few things about me:
1. My memory is fascinating. As a teacher, I remember names, faces, and everything my students write, almost immediately. I remember historical dates, seamstresses in films, every single song lyric, most poems. All of it.
2. I am absolutely haunted by my dreams. This can't be understated. My lucid dreams alter my conscious experience.
3. I consciously forget everything.

But let's just talk about right now, specifically, and how all these things become related, ultimately equaling the same thing (which probably is that I'm a little ridiculous and probably let the stars dictate how remarkably close I hold my hand to my chest).

We have traveled to Tampa. 

We have traveled to my parents' home, the one with the big gate, and all the acres, and gardens, the animals and the golden sun, the two houses.

We have traveled back in time. 

We have traveled to the miniature house I used to live in, off and on for ten years, between the times when life delivered blow after life-altering blow,

we have traveled to the place I used to stay when everything fell apart. My nest, cocoon, the greatest hiding place behind the big gate.

Everything is the same; it's no mirage, no mirror. The space is absolute: the trees are sturdy, and there is the constant sound of falling water everywhere. 

But I'm not the woman I was before.

I'm not a woman that clawls at the walls anymore. At least not right now, not for the last (almost) three years. You know: I figured out what to do to not to be that old ghost anymore. 

I mean, I got rid of the ghouls. 

No: I mean, I have forgotten what the ghouls did to me. 

No. I mean. I left. I mean I never spent the night again. I mean.

I mean I stopped throwing gigantic parties. I stopped talking.

I mean. I built a house. A small one. And I put myself in it. I put myself in it, and I only made a door when necessary.

I know that doors are not permanent things anymore. 

That is, my conscious mind knows the score. It knows the game of forgetting, and it's good. But. 

My unconscious mind, my lucid dreams--  the ones that stack on top of each other to show the big picture-- the ones that, no matter how many times I wake up and fall back to sleep, are still there. All night. 

Maybe it's the miniature house and that stark contrast between what it is now and how it used to be. 

I dream about people I don't even know.

That's a lie. 

I dream about people who used to be around, who showed up and did something stupid or outrageous, something worth remembering, before they disappeared. 

I knew this girl who was a stripper in high school. I knew this girl who made a sex tape, spontaneously, on one of those buses. I knew a girl who blew every single dude at every single party. I knew a girl who slept with a lot of dudes, one after the other after the other, all in a line, all in the room, all in my apartment. I knew a girl who dropped acid and showed up at my house, freaked out, and disappeared into the woods, crying.

I don't know any of these girls. 
I don't know their names. 

If I walked by them, if I met them at an art gallery, and we talked about something great, I wouldn't know it. It doesn't matter.

Those moments and myths are burned into my brain. 

They're knocking at the door I didnt know was there. Pulling down the walls, setting fire to my storeroom.

I don't know who they want. I dream of them in dialogue, on videos. I dream of sneaking into my house, hiding behind my walls, to learn the truth.

I can't believe it. But I do. I put those images away, like truth. And I wait for the voodoo. 

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