I flipped the half hour-glass on the desk, decidedly dedicated to spending the entire evening writing, one half hour to every new idea. I had been cutting garlic when cooking dinner tonight, and when I went through the motions I was reminded of you. We dated for a feverish few months when I was eighteen. The kind of relationship you can have only when you are eighteen. So, I started there, with the memory of learning to crush and cut garlic with flat edge of the knife.
Memories, I have learned are like spider webs. I once took a class on war novels and how to collect stories and testimonies from people and we spoke a lot on the theories of memory retrieval. And, I believe that memories are woven together in unexplainable and inexplicable ways, ways in which you must follow one in order to unearth the others.
So, when I began writing out this memory of the morning you taught me to cut garlic I found myself then writing about our little beach house. Do you remember the way we lived back then? The kitchen window, the single mattresses on the floor, that courtyard. Then, I stumbled upon another one, something I kept locked away in my mind. A night never to be thought of- the night you punched through that window and slit your wrist on the glass. You hated me for calling the ambulance and then yelled racist things at the nurse until they threatened to restrain you. You looked at me with these wild child like eyes, as if I was the only one who understood you, and told me passionately, you must get me out of here.
And a memory like that, of you and I in the hospital reminded me that we spent most of our relationship in the hospital, visiting your brother when he fell ill. And in following those memories the entire span of our relationship made so much sense to me. Who I was for you suddenly mapped itself out like an ancient constellation. Why we were ever together for those feverish months. I thought about the scar on your wrist when I saw you years later drinking at a bar; the both of us acting as if we never shared those vulnerable moments. The sand in the half hour-glass ran out and I felt as if you and I had just a conservation many years over due.