Don’t forget him, don’t forget her, don’t forget me. Don’t forget this, this moment, this memory. Wrap it in lavender and tuck it away in some cosy little corner of your mind where it won’t get lost. Let it gather dust and let it tangle with other fiddly little memories, but never, never let it fade away.
For that is the most primordial, deepest fear that we have, isn’t it?
Oblivion, being forgotten?
People grow together and fall apart like leaves blowing in an autumn breeze, their lives intertwining and unravelling, paths crossing and running parallel once again. And even if we were never to meet them ever again, we still wish, deep down, that they remember. That they don’t forget the time that they had with you. Because all that gives our time any validation, any sense of fulfillment is the memories that each moment, each minute carries.
And memories are funny little things; they bring joy and tears and laughter and such exquisite, exquisite pain in their wake. They can burn and soothe and claw and heal all at the same time. We bleed for times long past and people whose footsteps were washed away by the tides of time long ago, we long for the touch of people long lost. But memories are what tie us together, in the end. It is the gossamer that holds our most beloved close. It is what we hold on to when the people we love most have returned to dust and ashes, what we use to dull the pain and emptiness of loss.
And we hope, hope so hard that we aren’t forgotten.
Because that is how we are.
I think one of the main problems with humans is that we are so much more paranoid about being forgotten than actually forgetting.
But that’s the thing about memories; they aren’t permanent, like nothing in this world ever is. They will ebb and fade away like the sand slipping between your toes, dragged away by the eternal and inevitable pull of the sea. The waves of time wash us all clean, whether we like it or not, and no matter how hard you cling to the phantoms of long lost days, there will come a morning when you find you don’t quite remember. When you find yourself struggling to remember a loved one’s voice, when you try and try to remember the planes of a face but feel the image slipping further and further away. Places and people and voices and words and feelings are all swept away by time. Wind and water wash away words and images carved in stone, and the years wash away things you vowed to remember, forever.
And yet we hope,foolishly. Hope that we will be remembered. Hope that the stray tunes in a melody will bring back the sharp pang of nostalgia in a love loved and lost, that a word or phrase bring back memories of laughter in friends forgotten.
And we are hurt and disappointed when people forget. So, remember me. Tell me that somehow, in some way or the other, you won’t forget. Not us, not what we shared, not the million half-moments and endless hours we spent together. It doesn’t matter if I don’t remember what you had said to me some three and a half months ago, or if I don’t recall what your favourite colour was, or can’t sing the words to your favourite song; what matters is you remember.
Remember blinding lights and busy streets,remember midnight conversations and existential crises in the afternoon and laughter at sunrise and kisses at sunset and every golden hour in each others’ company. Tell me that you’ll never, never forget all that we were; never mind that I will, somewhere along the line.