Memory ignited: Valentine Snowstorm

woman encircled, 2014

woman encircled, 2014

 
woman in circle, 2014

woman in circle, 2014

The note comes out of the blue. The romance writer is in Vegas for a Superbowl party, and she writes:

"I am wide awake in Vegas with the pilot snoring next to me. Drank Jack Daniels for the first time since I breastfed six years ago, and of course now I think I'm fabulous and have no audience to exclaim it to. I used to be jealous of your past loves, I can't say I totally understand why. I guess I didn't feel the room for them and for me at the same time. I regret that because I think I would have understood u better had I entertained how u loved and why. I wanted to be special and for u to only feel that passion for me. I was young and immature . . . but man that had its benefits too! I know we don't share that connection anymore Seanie, but i treasure the memories . . . like you will never know. Or, maybe you do know. I know we don't usually talk like this but I'm feeling it now so what the hell."

I rely on memory to ignite certain feelings, especially those tiny flames that can burn down a life, but memory is like a JPG image: every time you open it up you change it a little bit. There is no non-destructive edit that can be done to memory. Each sliver of self morphs under memory's microscopes. So a message sailing in like this, from the lover in her bed with somebody else, remembering me under the influence of whiskey and gamble, sears into my projects and scatters all priorities, an asteroid interrupted. The cloud of hazy dust raised by her impact will block reality's light for weeks, and I will record and embellish the hints and hopes refracted in these shards of desire now in front of my eyes. "Now I think I'm fabulous and have no audience to exclaim it to." How do I illustrate this?

The model looks like the younger version of the lover and is happy to play the clay in my thoughts. But the model is on the cusp of knowing that you fuck with your mind and not with your limbs or your smell or your kiss. She, too, is looking for that conversation that melts into love-making, when the lovers wrestling with an idea find to their surprise that they are entwined and enflamed. The model is curious: how often does this sort of conjoining of imagination and intercourse happen? Every single time, I say. How could it not? The model, playing the lover, now tries to remember: how do you impact somebody's self to the point that you are always there, in them, even when they themselves are not?

Lost in this formula, I realize I do not know the score of yesterday's game, and a weird pride swells in my throat. Who will remember this score in a decade? In a century, the game will never have been played, and no record of it will be checked by anyone. What information can you tell me about football's championship game played in 1913? And yet the streets were empty and the bars full, as I fell again into the lover's orbit, likewise unimportant and destined to be much more forgot in a century than even something as trivial as last night's contest. But in these small notes to myself, these pricks of my skin with temptation's tingle, I shovel my memories into a mountain of lust, intending to block my own horizon with a past I have not yet stopped living. Who cares what thrill comes tomorrow, if yesterday's thrall still spills?

(The dust sprinkled on my head, absorbed as an inward-bound pheromone, has caused me to forget or ignore or misplace my original subject when I sat down to write: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and their two approaches to expression that can only lead to a fight. Delayed but not lost! Thanks for reading this far; I am incredibly buoyed by everyone's enthusiasm for these small notes. I promise they are leading somewhere, collectively!)