From the Files: Early Memory

My Marie Kondo kick is ongoing. I don’t think she ever suggested taking this long to go through her several-step declutter process, but here I am nine months later.

It’s the “papers” stage that has really got me slowing down because I keep finding these old humiliating gems I thought would be important to keep. Poems, story ideas, songs, essays…

Here is one such gem titled “Early Memory.” I hope you enjoy its weirdness as much as I did.

Early Memory

December, 2006

The air was warm, not that it mattered. It was recess, and that meant playtime whether it was hot, cold, snowing, or the apocalypse. It seemed an odd thing to be, warm or cold, when only a few minutes were allotted for playtime.

The game was tag, and five years was the ripest age for it–not like wine, which boldens and matures with age. Wine was for grown-ups. Tag was not.

Usually, the game found itself a battle of the sexes, a game that never would overripen. The genders would compete for eternity, both knowing if someone won the world would seem empty.

In the middle of the field was a large tree. It served as home base, its gnarled roots creating unique and distinct imprints on the brain. I grew to loathe the tree. What fun was there staying safe? The chase was when the adrenaline pumped like blood.

That was only the start of my differences, though. When I tagged a girl, we would sit and talk. They were opponent and friend rolled together, like chocolate mint. Two tastes in one candy. My mother made chocolate mint at Christmas. I made chocolate mint at recess.

It is peculiar to find time capsules within time capsules. I had written this as a means of remembering the excitement and drama of a childhood game of tag. Now, it serves as a reminder both of its subject and of the English class for which I wrote it.

That is how memory works though, isn’t it? Sometimes, I believe it’s as fluid as the future.


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