Author : Duncan Shields
Iâ€™d like to remember her the way most ex-boyfriends remember their exes. That is to say, when Iâ€™m drunk and missing her, I want to remember that space right under her ear, her easy smile, and that way that sheâ€™d hiccup if she laughed too much. When Iâ€™m angry at her and hurt, I want to remember that time she kissed the bouncer just to piss me off or how sheâ€™d constantly complain no matter how awesome our life was.
Instead, all I can remember is her left hand in the sunlight, hanging out the car window on August 22nd.
I donâ€™t see her face in the memory. I can feel my ear pressed against her chest.
I think the wipers werenâ€™t top of the line. Maybe their schedule had been just that little bit too tight. That little fragment of her hand in the sun had slipped through their nets. I wondered if there were anymore. Itâ€™s hard to search for memories that may have been missed during an erasure solely because they had been misfiled. I mean, where did you accidentally put them?
Was the time you wiped strawberry juice off of her unbuttoned white blouse filed under â€˜stain removalâ€™ somewhere in your head? Were her instructions on how to get to that store on fifth that sold the cheap eels filed under â€˜mapsâ€™ and never looked at again?
I like to just let my mind wander and see if it comes across something that stands out by not standing out. I wouldnâ€™t know it if I found a picture of her face. I wouldnâ€™t know it if I remembered a few seconds of her speaking. The only way Iâ€™d know is if I had no idea who that person was.
Not knowing her would be the only clue that she might be the woman that I lost.
Sorry, the woman that was taken from me.
Even if it was a cheap rush job, it was still miles away from a bank account like mine. I figure her daddy must have been rich and didnâ€™t want me following her. His little girl had been slumming with me. I had no idea why he didnâ€™t just take her away and shoot me in the leg or something but maybe he had. Maybe heâ€™d tried to take her away a few times before.
Maybe this was the only option left to him. If he could afford a wipe on a gutter rat like me, well, I must have been tenacious and he must have been obscenely rich.
I think the ring on her finger in the memory I keep looking at is an engagement ring. I see its lazy arc up into the sunlight before the flash of light again and itâ€™s over.