I wrote this as a reflection from a character I’m currently writing a book about. He has lost his true love and is trying to remember things in the past unsuccessfully. However, the book is written in third person so this can never really be put into the text, so I instead decided to blog this brief little bit that I wrote that will never get included in the actual book. Here is a short piece on what it’s like to forget someone.
I can’t remember what your voice sounds like. It’s been so long it’s faded into the background of my mind, overwhelmed by a thousand other noises I’ve swallowed down and memorized. I close my eyes, try to imagine back to times in the past. And I forget.
I’ll see your face. You have a smile on as you joke about something. We’re talking as we always do, sitting there side by side as we chatter on about something or other. Is it hopes or dreams, or the way the day is going, or simply noting that the sun has yet to shine in a week with all the gray clouds overhead? I remember your face. I remember your eyes. I remember those elements, a picture printed deep inside my memory. But I watch it like a video with no sound, the voice gone completely, only your mouth opening and closing, only those eyes fixed on mine.
I search frantically for something to hold onto, for a way to find that voice again. But it’s lost to me. Somehow I have managed to lose a most crucial element of remembering you. I have pictures. I have pages of our letters, our emails, our silly internet chats early in the morning as I debated whether to sleep or whether only to ignore my own needs in favor of reading more sweet words from you. I have the pillowcase you sewed me, a pressed corsage from prom.
But I failed to save any memory of what it was like to speak in person. I feel stupid, neglectful even. I keep checking over the internet, wondering if there was some chance you made a video in the past that’s there saved for the world to see and for me to find and fill my ears with the sweet melody only your words could bring to my lonely soul.
There’s nothing. Only silence. Only the longing wish that I’d kept something more.
My computer crashed the other day. I lost half my life. Or so it seemed. A few documents I’d never get back, some work I’d have to make up. But it’s nothing compared to losing you, to the reality that no matter how hard I search I will never again find that voice. It’s like someone wiped the hard drive in my mind, and I have nothing, no way to ever get it back. I search frantically through various folders within, but there’s nothing there. Only those silent film clips I somehow managed to save, and little else.
It’s moment’s like these when I realize how much more I should have treasured the time I had. We forget how important each day is, how each moment counts. It’s easy to brush people off, to shove them aside in favor of watching some television program or finishing some piece of work that “needs” to be completed. And we forget to turn and look at the person next to us and remember that tomorrow could be the last time we see them, the last we hear their precious voice.
Even the memories of you are fading out, and I can sense it coming to my growing dread. The voice is gone, and I wonder too when the film reel in my head will slowly break down, skip over parts, fail to start, and eventually fail to turn on completely leaving me to stare at only a blank screen. I fear one day I’ll pick up photographs of you and that’s all I’ll see, a dull dead image on a page, nothing alive and beautiful like it used to be. Nothing for me to hold onto the way I wish to.
There’s a part of me that knows you’re gone. And there’s a part of me that forgets. There are still days I wake up and think I’ll see you…still moments I see someone walking past and for a moment think it must be you only to find a stranger’s face in place of the one I know so well.
There are no words for this kind of grief, no explanations that can ever fully comfort. We hold on as long as we can, and when our fingers finally slip away we are left with nothing but despair.
I listen to the whir of my computer fan trying to fill the empty noiseless void. I search for your voice, but I can’t find it anymore. And part of me knows I never will. I’ve given up, my love. You’re gone for good. And I know I’ll never get you back. No matter how hard I try…my life is lived in silence now, only resting in the hope that perhaps one day I’ll find a new voice to fill the hole you left behind.