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Reminiscences: Memoirs for the Amnesiac

It could come in three ways.
But most especially when you do not expect it.

I know a mother who frequents the florist annually
on the fifteenth of July to buy an armful of watered tulips.
She had lost her only child to a grenade explosion.
To her, it is a remedy for grief, a panacea for heartache.
He had only been twenty-five.

It also doesn't entirely go away.
But it will leave you feeling down in the dumps before the full effects kick in.

A romantic dinner with your partner sounds like a beautiful scene.
It could take a wrong turn, though, when the issue of commitment is brought up.
It is quite surprising when clinking glasses and toast-making to the future ends in plates smashing
and violent arguing.
One single statement, a myriad of shattered dreams
(and also ceramic plates, too.)
 
You don't wish to remember
but the pesky thoughts have a way
of letting itself in even without a handy invitation.

The phrase ‘red’ is a trigger individual element for your PTSD.
It makes you remember what you do not want to
like the near-death experience that had happened
three months before.
You don't want to remember that moment
you had slipped down the slope of the mountain you were hiking on and the crushing weight of a boulder had landed awkwardly on a shin.
You had forced yourself to do the abominable for survival.
You don't want to remember seeing the gush of the metallic liquid as you had repeatedly hacked away
at your knee with a makeshift axe to free yourself.
But you recall being terrified and hungry
and slick with your cold blood until a rescue team had found you four hours later.
Now, one glance at the left stump of where your left leg used to be brings everything back and instantly,
you become despondent.
The colour red is an inciting signal
that your memory rapidly picks at
after being locked up for three months.

Temporal dementia seems like a blessing
and... not-so-much-of a blessing.
One day, this curse called old age will set in
and on the inside, the once-conscious recesses of the mind will be diffidently vague.
But there is beauty in this ephemerality, you see,
–before the hue turns dull and the sharpness blunt–
because you remind yourself that this phase is transient.

Reminiscences can not be controlled as we want to.
It is a stubborn plug, alright,
one that wishes not to be pulled out, at least
not before it has exhausted all its portable power.
Because when rap prodigy, NF said “It's pretty hard
to watch things you used to love turn to things
that you wish you forgot,” I knew I felt that.
And I'm sure you did, too.
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Submitted on February 03, 2021

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Tolu Dara

Tolu Dara is a creative writer and a content creator based in Lagos, Nigeria. She has an imagistic flair for the good art that photography has to offer and is an aspiring Medicine and Surgery student. She currently works as a care attendant in a growing children's institution and hopes to give back to the society in a philanthropic manner. more…

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