by Pierce Nahigyan
You give things away as you age. One of my personal sacrifices was the belief that I would be understood (a better way to say it is exist) perfectly for anyone other than myself. It is a vain tenet but one primarily held by the young. And I am not really young anymore, and losing faith. So I have modified my faith, and adapted it to the life I lead, that life that is flexible, that is pliant, that is seldom steadfast. But that faith, shaken by the accrued circumspections that have recoiled without enough enemies to blame (the young can make enemies of anyone), survives only with fewer sacraments. What I sacrificed was my reproduction in full.
I am unknown even to myself in full, and it is a humble, domesticated sort of hubris that denies this. A patch of perfume stained drapery pulled from the corner of a closet unlocks rich memories previously dissolved in banal daily rituals. A forgotten lover’s smile and kiss and wrinkled knuckles awakes. Where was that? Where does it live when I am at my desk, sleeping, mining aisle 13 of the grocery store? A surface street taken amidst the freeway’s rush hour is suddenly recalled the moment the green arrow directs me under the offramp. And I wondered, before this excision, how someone I speak to can know me, someone I have loved, sang to, held, been sneezed on, might contain my soul entire.
Is the disappointment the fear that we have not been heard or that love’s binding cannot assuage our inadequacies? Would that we could know one another with total accuracy, but I believe there would be little room left for whatever cares for the imperfect creatures that we are. Some mystery is good, I suppose. The not knowing is a lifelong ailment; allowing it to be the silent ache we stop concerning ourselves with is the rudiment of graceful aging. Those small things we do remember about one another become bright trinkets, unto the day only one of us remains to polish them. So many years gone by and stories told and the stories are what remain. Your grave and the ground we purchased for it cannot belong to either of us in the end. How will we remember we are both owners of this mossy plot?
It won’t be long till I forget grace, and my name. Yours I have not given away yet.