the lost man chronicles
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all the little deaths

Of course, it didn’t help that we happened across Dr. Zhivago on the tele either.

Then there were the jam-jelly jars I poured my glasses of vodka into—a poor remedy to untie the thick tree knots in my shoulders. At five I took 400 Mgs of ibuprofen, and was surprised, as well as slightly disappointed, that I did not immediately collapse into a still-puppet stupor. By six o’clock I was asleep on the sofa in the sunroom, while it snowed softly outside.

Throughout the long weekend I continued to read Restak’s Mysteries of the Mind, and so I was inclined more than ever to wonder and wander while mulling over material that once mutually held our fascination.

Funny, I had completely, successfully repressed any such association for many months prior to the recent sighting and the taunting ethereal reconnection.

Admittedly, I also couldn’t help but ponder all the good and bad possibilities—all that could have been and may have come to pass. Alas, I also worried about all that I may be sought after for—a latent retribution, a vengeance for acts of passion and a calculating catharsis, paranoid inferences which made me fret more than hope at random times during these slow-moving days.

And so three days of cues and triggers and traps came to pass and spun me into a reverse-spinning vertigo, a woozy reminiscence of prances through Elysian Fields that had been all but forgotten. There were little things like big books on Ancient Egypt, mummification and a children’s pop-up about the Great Pyramids.

Strangely ironic enough, no such flood of consoling-and-torturous memory (i.e. false hope) had occurred while on my trip home to San Jose a mere four weeks ago. Neither walking through the Rosicrucian gardens or visiting the Egyptian museum or going to Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto had the slightest haunting effect on me. All these should have easily ignited a five-alarm fire, yet none of them even lit a small spark.

And even more amusing is that I experienced a vivid ride down memory lane while going to the airport—an hour-long passage over hot coals, old flames and blazing fires long laid extinguished. For at every corner of the city something glimmered in the corner of my eye, in turn turning over the soot-covered embers that lay dormant in the hearth of my heart. At least half a dozen old loves sparked and dazzled to warm me on that cold morning, but not once did Ada come to mind.

William James observed, “Memory requires more than a mere dating of a fact in the past. It must be dated in my past. I must think that I directly experienced its occurrence. It must have warmth and intimacy.”

Thus, maybe it was our time together had been too short a time to have warmed up sufficiently enough to be lodged and logged and etched into the cerebral tablets of my long-term memory.

Or maybe it was missing the intimacy. For I can’t help but think that because we were both so conscious of the intellectual, soulful and circumstantial connections that our instinct and instant-intimacy lacked the crucial element of time required for it to warm up and be baked into one of Proust’s fragrant and flaky petite madeleines.

Perhaps, it all ended too soon and too recently, all but a few warmer seasons ago, and so the papyrus was still wet, yet to be rolled and stored amongst the other scrolls I carry with me into every new life I begin subsequent to all the little deaths I die, if only because I refuse to stop loving.

“…sensory experiences can activate memories that have remained silent for decades, beyond our capacity for conscious recall. Writers like Marcel Proust intuitively recognized this mysterious aspect of memory. When, as an adult he tasted some petites madeleines, little cakes that he had used to eat as a child, he experienced a flood of recollections, leading to his pivotal insight into the nature of memory: ‘It is a labor in vain to attempt to recapture the past. All the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object.’”

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