written live on october 18, 2021

I gaze, listlessly, at this collection of framed pictures and souvenirs as if I were in someone else’s house.  Displays of pride, love, and loyalty- it all looks more like a collection of lives.  Different lives.

They have collected chips and scratches over the past decade or so, some are fading more than others.  I notice how there are more scars today than I remember there to be, having forgotten the recent hardship they faced- thrown from their quiet shelves, falling without a pattern, until they were all scattered about on the floor.  And then I followed suit as I threw myself down as if I were merely an equal, scarred piece among all of this junk.

Flailing my arms around in a panic, failing to swim among them until I couldn’t tread anymore. Exhausted and defeated, I succumbed to drowning in an em-ocean of grateful sorrow.

I knew that these valuable pieces of me were colliding into each other and getting bruised and bullied.  And I felt myself grieving my actions, yet all the while it was as if I were spectating- as if I were the next piece of memorabilia to be added to the collection of lives on these shelves.

I guarded these things, all this evidence, and kept them tightly gripped to my essence the past decade.  It’s the only proof I have that it was me who had lived these lives… one’s so different than the life I know now.

But it’s strange how it feels like my life now has always been- continuous, unchanged – and the one’s of the past were nothing more than interesting collectables of other people’s lives.

One’s so different than mine.

And even looking upon these past lives, I find it ever more difficult to remember, to relate, to believe that they really are… all my own.

They are all dying, like me.  These souvenirs of mine age and grow old, they get blurry, brittle.  The letters wash away from these pictures, the ones that make up a thousand words.  And when there are no more words, they die.  There will be no one to recall a description, or to embody it’s expression.  They are to become mummified objects of time. Artifacts of once claimed pieces of sentiment that mean nothing anymore. They have lost their worth and turned into clutter.

They’ve become skeletons with marked, eroding gravestones of who they once were at face value.  Something quick and factual, and conveyed so simply that it undermines how important each piece truly was, to someone… to me.  Words and phrases disrespectfully concise; perhaps more useful to people that never knew the skeleton that lies beneath.

Passersby can quickly canvas the artifacts of a time that once was.  Distanced from its emotional impressions.  An aggregated pile of cool “things”.

Which is just about how I look upon these “things”, my things, in recent years… estranged.  To be ever freer from its emotional chains and impressions as more years and more lives collect.  I canvas them all, questioning their conveyed truths and quick facts.  It’s hard to recall forgotten words.  It’s hard to see washed out faces.

I’ve been curious as to why this saddens me so.  Perhaps I grieve their youth.  Their once mint, shiny conditions, as they age and decay alongside me-

As if they were all just a collection of mirrors. 

So, I guess I am grieving myself.  Dying more with every forgotten word, with every new scar, alongside the enveloping decay of everything and everyone I have ever known.

I gaze, listlessly, watching them as they lose their sentiment, for which I am the keeper of.  I watch them watch me age and decay.  I see them grieving.

And maybe it’s empathy for all of them, and a bit of shame… they are all dying because of me.

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