Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven’t
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t before
Last night, I reminisced of days long past, the vivid clarity of which highly disturbed me. Whether it was the day I manually dug moss out of our grass while we lived in Fircrest in 1995, or Christmas morning in 1984, I’m overwhelmed by both a sense of loss and elation. The sadness I feel that so many years have passed in so little time is unparalleled, that it seems so recent, doubly so. If my memories were to be believed, I could have been obsessing over a girl in High School just yesterday, living in a rented home where I had to climb a pull-down ladder to get to my room was merely the day before.
All these things do not eclipse the present, but instead imply the present never truly ends. After I finish typing this, the whole process will join the myriad of disjointed recall that provides the foundation of my existence, yet maintains equal relevance as all the rest. The past, no matter what constitutes its form, can never be changed. They day I woke up from my heart surgery in 1984, or had my wisdom teeth extracted in 2001; I miss each, yet can relive neither.
And this is becomes an important point, to me. Everything I am able to recollect evokes almost equal nostalgic response. Catching a frog in apartment pool in 1982, check. Running home in a rain-storm and narrowly avoiding a powerline in the same year, check. Studying phylum Arthropoda in Mr. Mills’ advanced biology class in 1994, check. Waiting for an hour at a bus stop only about 5-minutes from a major bus junction on I didn’t know about in 1995, check. All those times falling asleep on the school bus on the way home in 1983 and 1984 before my heart surgery fixed the cause, check. When I asked mom how my arm was able to move in 1985, check. My mother attempting to teach me country dancing in 1981, check. I’m certain I could go on like this for days, and never exhaust my arsenal of examples.
I question the necessity of such detail. I can almost describe every room of every trailer, apartment, or house I’ve ever lived in from 1980 until today, which numbers about 26 unless I’m forgetting a couple. Being as I am currently 27, I suppose I have moved quite often. Why do I need all of this cruft littering my skull? I almost want to cry every time I concentrate on nearly any memory I have; it’s physically painful to recognize all those years and events which have slipped into being enticingly unreachable.
So what can I do but enjoy the time which is not unobtainable? Events which have not yet come to pass? I can understand the desire to live in the forgotten, but the truth is, I would rather jump back to when I was five, and fix all the times I screwed up. Mentally reliving old times, no matter their luster, serves only to reinforce their unchanging nature and prevents new and equally memorable worlds from exploration. In the end, this is but pointless conjecture from a man who believes he’s wasted the small years of his life. I have no answer for that particular accusation, nor any tenable method of rectification. I have however, found the reason for my wanderlust; so there is a beginning.