Of recollection

Nothing torments me quite like recollection. It is a strange oppressive feeling to recall the better times and yet be only able to stand in its hazy illusion. Like Orpheus who could only trust that Eurydice was following behind him, I can only delight in an idea, in the vicarious emotions stored in memory’s deepest troves. And like Orpheus who knew that Eurydice would be lost the moment he turned back to look at her, I know that when I open my eyes and let all of reality rush in, she too shall be lost.

Sometimes I drive a familiar route during the night. I am alone in the car; the seat beside me is empty. It is disquieting. The radio chatter tries its best to anchor my sanity amid the tumultuous silence. Sometimes I wind down the windows, hoping to numb myself in the dead drone of the wind, the muzak hubbub of the streets, the vociferous venting of neighbouring vehicles. For a moment, it would all seem to work. My mind would be rid of her image, and I freed from the fetters that bind the unrequited. The future was no longer narrowed by her presence. It blossomed in possibility, and I felt invincible. But such doses merely heap upon the fire dead, dry leaves. She would eventually return to haunt me.

I also remember the countless times she said to me those essential words of affection. I think about them leaving her gentle lips, I think about how it leaves them now only arrive at another person, and I despair.

In recollecting, the universe is perfect. Perfect, because in spite of the many mistakes I’ve made or the quarrels I’ve had, they are more secure than any reality. They are eternal and invariable, and only in their frames can I be certain that she will always be seated beside me.