Think of all the people you have known, who have occupied the space in front of you.
Look for evidence that they were ever there, and mostly there is none – only from those who scarred you, like your children, like the lover who knocked you down, like your friend’s attempt at piercing your twelve-year-old ear. As for those whom you merely remember, their intersection with you may be an illusion.
There may be gifts, of course – teaspoons, and plates, and gardening gloves, and jewellery –
but things are unreliable, can be switched while you sleep. Even photographs are unstable. If the person is not here at this very moment, what is to stop them denying the whole thing? You may well recall the sound of shouting or the taste of the worst tuna pasta in the world, but who is to say who was there in the kitchen,
if anyone was there at all? Something in you rebels at this, refuses to accept the slate may be wiped over and over, that the slate is a slate and not a page. But does this not also confer the freedom to forget, which is, like all freedoms, beautiful?
– Melinda Smith
*I found this wonderful poem on Ariane J. Beeston’s Instagram page.