I lift the lid from the box and set it on the floor. The objects inside would be junk to anyone else. To me they are a trail of bread crumbs that lead to someone I used to be. A series of moments that shaped and molded me. Proof of a life lived, even if the memories have faded.
I run my fingers over a key from an antique lock and a silk prize ribbon. It’s not for first place, but an honourable mention. I pick out an old photo. The corners are bent and starting to separate. I’m leaning against your shoulder. The hood of my sweater is covering most of my face but I can see that my lips are stained red. We had picked strawberries from your mother’s garden. If I close my eyes, I can still taste them. The joy on your face makes me smile.
I move to brush my thumb across the white spot above our heads but I stop short. I can’t do it. I’m too afraid. Afraid that it might create some sort of doorway from the past. At the time I blamed the camera, that it was a defective lens or a bad batch of film. That all changed the day you didn’t show up for class. The same day you were found in the woods south of town. Because of what we found, of what found you, nothing will ever be the same.
This and That but Mostly the Other is a collection of moments, from the briefest glimpse to those more complex. It’s about introductions and endings. It is a reminder of what was, and a glimpse of things to come. Available in print and e-book February 2019.