October 12, 2002

It's the details that can kill you.

That's why I try to block them out, or let them run together. If, in my memory, we're in your white Civic SE and the radio's playing "I Can't Drive Fifty-Five" and the hula girl on your dashboard is shaking furiously, then I'm going to have to remember what we're talking about and the way you pronounce the word "forever" and what we did at that stoplight. But if, in my memory, it's just a boy and a girl driving home on a Saturday night from a football game, then you could be anyone. And it's not anyone I miss, so we're fine.

The details can kill you, they really can. Because we're nothing but a collection of little nuances, it's the uniqueness of these collections that hooks us and keeps us there. The things you want to revel in when you have them at your fingertips are the things you want to shake yourself free of when they're gone. And if you can't slap yourself into amnesia, you're going to want to squint 'till the past gets fuzzy. Thatís what Iím doing. And itís working.

The goal, I guess, is to strip away all your definition, the things that made you stand out in the first place. Iím making them non-descript, average, boring, even. Your smile becomes just another row of teeth. Your laugh couldíve come from anyone. I will never find another person on Earth with quite the same eyes, and so Iím not remembering your eyes in particular. Iím remembering you had nice ones, because so do millions of other girls, just look around. None of them are yours, but if I canít recall yours, what does it matter? It makes you that much easier to forget, that much easier to replace.

As Vera, you are irreplaceable. As just some nice girl, ringers are a dime a dozen.

Iím sanding all the edges off my memory, the things that catch when I try to tear them out. All that sweet and subtle uselessness, Iím throwing it away, and moving on.

I canít move on if Iím stuck at that stoplight in my memory, the music loud but it not really mattering because we donít have to talk over it when what weíre doing isnít verbal. I canít leave that behind. But if itís just another kiss, then I can file it away, and I can do the same to you and every bit of my past that features you as well. Iím changing the names and broadening the scope. You and me become just some guy and just some girl.

I donít get a tightened chest by thinking of this guy and just some girl. Their story could be anyoneís, itís so average, and it doesnít make me wistful to think about it. The details can hurt you but the broad descriptions canít. The only one who ever mattered becomes some girl I once knew, and then it doesnít hurt so bad, because hey, it could be anyone.

And itís not anyone Iím crying for, so weíre fine.

Posted by DC at October 12, 2002 11:02 PM
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