Pay attention. This is it. Not your last chance, that’s already been and gone; this is it.
Think back. No, further. Think back beyond your last memory or your first fuck. Think backwards into time and forget about yourself. Go deeper; look deeper.
No – look; don’t close your eyes; open them.
In front of me, a man is being nailed to a cross. Who am I kidding; this was Jesus being nailed to a cross – crucified – although I’ve never actually seen such a thing really happening before.
Of course, by that measure, I’d never actually seen Jesus before, but this had to be him because I couldn’t name another person who had been crucified.
Not that I knew Jesus; I believed in him though. Well, I don’t believe in him – but I do believe that a long-haired hippie looking type had been staked up on two planks of wood. This was hardly a draft-dodger being nailed up because he had some issue running around killing people.
Anyway, this isn’t a matter of belief; I can see it with my own eyes; a man dying for our sins.
A least he’s dying for something – people before prophet – and if he’s really the son of God, he’ll forgive me for making a pun at his expense while I’m having this crazy-ass dream about the crucifixion
This is the strangest bloody dream.
Talk about denial; this is what you want to remember? – Someone else’s story. A page from history. A ghost from a fairy-tale.
What did you die for? – I’ve told you already; it’s already over.
Tell me. Tell me about before. We know the ending. You need to understand. There was a before.
The tone repeated; it was like that noise a smoke alarm makes when its battery needs changing.
I’m going to have to get up and change the batteries – well – take them out. Who actually changes the batteries straight away? – Surely everyone leaves the dead ones on the side, at least until they have to go to the shops for the essentials, like to buy a packet of smokes or something of similar importance.
Smokes! – Ha! – Smoke alarm – Need new batteries.
What is that; poetic? Ironic? – Not that it matters, I should get up and do something about the noise and check my lighter before I go to the shop.
That bloody tone, I should…
I should try to get up…
You died for a cigarette; isn’t that comical. I’d call it a tragedy, but this is the last thing that you are choosing to remember.
Dying on a life support machine because of your bad choices.
This – THIS – is the last thing you want to remember?
Don’t let that be the last thing you remember. Think back; further. Find something different.
Look for a perfect moment.
We – you – all have one.
Blonde. Curly hair. Beneath the blossoms. Oh, I remember that smile. God, it’s like… like a picture from a story, painted in thousand words, that only make any sense when they are in precisely the correct order.
My God, she was so beautiful on that day – today – is it still today? – This feels more like a yesterday or maybe yesterday’s.
Blonde, in the dirtiest sense of the shade, so much so as to look brown when the weather was against her. Today the sun is with her – was with her – rendered her as perfection by the clear light shining down on her imperfections, washing them away with imagination.
That’s what love was. Where it hides. A perfect moment, hidden within shadow without shadows.
It was cold that day (today?), but whoever said feeling cold couldn’t be right; a clear blue sky stretched endlessly on beyond the limits of even an ocean.
The wind blew the spring blossoms from the trees into her hair, her curls catching the pink and weaving it into a pattern with blonde hair and pale skin.
Seconds were caught in the moment, stretching into minutes, that passed as an instance.
Her lips. I should have kissed them (did I kiss them?), but I could only read them. Their shape was something I’d always known.
I could hear what she was about to say.
This time it was almost: ‘I love you…’
She didn’t’ say that though. It’s OK. I know. You are beyond half-truths here.
This is part of it. The problem looking back. With memories.
You can remember whatever you wish. Bend truths into many shapes. Reality demands to be heard though, and will always have its say. Deep down. Always.
You can convince anyone – but not me – of almost anything.
In a place beyond truth and lies though, you can never forget what you know.
And so, here you are, choosing to remember a lie. A good lie, but still a lie.
That she didn’t love you; are you sure that’s what you want to take with you?
This memory of being unloved?
You were loved.
You must remember. Time. There is no more…
You cannot be told.
You must remember – think back.
…a small red bicycle, complete with a bell and some little ribbons, with training wheels affixed to the frame…a tired looking man with oil on his fingers and clothes…puffing air into inflatable armbands, while standing next to a swimming pool, wearing jeans and a shirt…putting up a camping tent in a storm…picking you up from a train station in the dark…
…a young woman, who you can only ever remember as having an older face…quietly packing lunches …bandaging the cut on a hurt knee…tending scars that will last a lifetime…placing a plate of food in front of you…carrying your washing away…sorting endless piles of socks into pairs…
…a brother who would cross the road for you…
…a sister who never complained…
…the friend handing you a cold drink…
…a girl with curly blonde hair…
…the girl who…
…loved you too…
Yes, that’s it. Nearly.
Love is always around you. Above, beneath, within; in memories.
It is still with you even now; beyond the end of you.
Every moment can be perfect.
The people; the places; the pains you suffer and cause; the places you never see; the things and people you leave or forget: they all form part of the perfect moment.
That one moment, which you call a lifetime.
That is all over now.
All that remains is the memories of you.
How do you wish to be remembered?