You ever have something that keeps returning to your mind, no matter how hard, how often, or how desperately you try to keep it from doing so? Isn’t it frustrating? Annoying? I have only two such recurring aches and, try as I might, they simply will not dissipate and waft away into nothingness as they should.
I look at the calendar and try to figure out if there is some odd connection of date that might trigger this one, but I find no correlation. The archives, stores of what once were cherished reminders, were long ago sent to the incinerator and to ash and smoke. No images or remainders here and yet, like some strangely persistent ghost, still, here I sit, again, with this plaintive mewling along corridors of memory and the mind.
I think it fair at this point to say that I just do not get it (why it still happens). There simply is nothing left or present in my “here and now” that even remotely associates; there is nothing I can point to and call “the reason” or “the trigger” that calls this forth.
Still, here it is; like some derelict, shuffling around in natty robes and patting dusty corners as if I’ve left anything it might grasp for purchase. I greet it with an exasperated sigh along the lines of “What? You again? Really?!?” and it doesn’t even flinch; it does not falter, just keeps pawing at my mind as if I have anything left to give to it.
But I gave it all away years back; sorry, there’s nothing left.
I shut away the canyon, collected and shredded the papers, bundled up memory and imagery and scrunched it down into pebbles that I dropped hopefully off the most terrifying cliffs I could find. I burned every inch of the film; watching it smoke and curl and disappear to the music of my relieved sighs. I carefully cleaned every corner, every sill, ever rafter and window. I sterilized everything it ever came into contact with and then, returned on a schedule to do the entire antiseptic routine again… scrubbing with fierce insistence until no presence or hint there ever was presence remained.
I look at it now, this vagrant with gnarled hands and hooded face and the exasperation flows away on the clean, smooth tide of acknowledgement, “Yes, yes, I know, you wish it were different. It isn’t. It will not be. It is as it is.”
Oddly enough, this seems to satisfy; I watch bony hands clasp themselves together and the slow and somewhat clumsy bow and then, it shuffles off as quietly as it arrived, leaving only the empty ache and the echo of that acknowledgement to ricochet through my mind.
“As it is… as it is… as it is… as it is.”