I read an essay today in which I was told memory is not fixed. The idea, or the claim, is that in the act of remembering, we naturally alter that which is being remembered. Who I am today in conjuring up images of you is different than who I will be years from now, digging up the very same bones. The space between the memory and the rememberer is like a sifter allowing certain things through and holding others behind, coloring and constructing that which we see because of who we are today. I find something comforting in this, like I can shift all the blame around for some reason. Like, the way I see it now is perhaps not the way it is or really was. I’m still standing in the blast radius and my very being here is changing the way I see what we were.
I write a lot about being in the kitchen with you. I write a lot about putting the piano somewhere near the cooking. I think about how these two things were synonymous. How the same piano we slept beneath in your parents garage when we first met was the same piano we talked of one day setting children on top of. How this same piano helped us write songs and taught me how to sing, and how it is the same piano we snorted lines of cocaine from on the wooden part that folds down to protect the keys. How that piano in all these memories could be so many different things and yet always the same piano. How you got it for free before you knew me, how I set Christmas decorations on top of it, how you played it the first time we slept together, how now you play it for someone else. I think about and wonder, how if my memory is not fixed, if it shifts and changes because of who I am in doing the remembering, if something like a piano could be the anchor in which all this changing changes from. Or is the idea of this piano, the very thing which I will see differently when I am done being whoever it is I am being right now?