There they are on the crowded street like a hallucination in the pregnant air. You are immediately hit by a bolt of anxiety while the word “fuck” skips over and over in your head like a roughed up CD. Your first impulse is to toss yourself into the nearby alley, but it’s too far gone. They see you. You are two bar magnets simultaneously attracted and repelled by each other, north and south poles wildly confused. The sweltering tension as you approach each other climaxes in a, “Hi.”
Then, an awkward conversation bumbles along in an effort to disregard the coffin of memories anchoring every word. You brandish your shield, calling to arms everything in your reserve in a noticeably forced bluff of contentment. You uneasily shake hands or hug as if you’ve lost all knowledge of how to hug. And you continue along the filthy sidewalk, treading over cracks as you are struck with murky emotions of nostalgia.
It’s a near-death ordeal where brain activity surges and a mashup of all your memories with that person plays on and on and on through invisible earphones. You can’t shut the music off. It crescendos and you remember every nondescript detail. The way you changed hand positions when you went on walks together, sometimes intertwined, sometimes palms diagonally overlapping. The way you couldn’t grasp how this person you’re so in love with could actually like the medicinal taste of kale. The way you held their face or stared up at them anticipating a moment of vulnerability. The way they touched your leg under a table filled with your friends and how that small gesture gave you a profound feeling of support.
It is then that a decrescendo occurs and a cold stream runs through you as you remember that monumental fight you two got into, retreating into your corners of the ring, waiting for the other to send the first SOS, the first apology, the first admittance of wrongdoing. The way you felt at first and the way your relationship crawled towards a routine complacency, dispiritedly trying to regain that electric current of the initial few months when time was irrelevant. The way you both wanted different things in life, but kept an ongoing, unspoken mantra that you were bound by something stronger than your own selfishness.
It was like any other relationship of both positive and negative charges. Just like any other.
And suddenly, it’s all over. You start thinking about your own life again, your present problems and the fact that you need to buy Parmesan if you want to actually enjoy that spaghetti you plan on eating. The memories evaporate. Who you were and that particular stage of your life recedes back into the depths of you, laid to rest in a place with no gravestone; a place you will visit less and less because, no matter how much effort, you can’t resuscitate the past.