A Frenzy Of Misplaced Nostalgia

Sometimes I miss everything. It is a phase I go through every once in a while. I don't mean that I miss things from the past in a frenzy of nostalgia. I mean that I miss things right in front of me, like my scarf or this website or my favourite teacup. (It is odd that I would write teacup, because I drink out of coffee mugs). It is as though I am looking at the world through a sepia photograph.

The Fiery One smiles at me, and while he is in the middle of the act, I miss the way he smiles with a wrinkling of his eyes. The cat is tussling with my left arm right now, and I miss the way he scraps even while his teeth are in the meat of my hand, as if he were already beleaguered by old age. The leaves have mostly gone, fallen and drifted and lost themselves in the sewers, and I feel a closeness to them combined with a sense that we are constantly saying goodbye to each other. Goodbye goodbye goodbye, my heart chants over and again in my chest. I should set up an historical website to commemorate the autumn of aught-five.

It's a little like being in love. Every moment is so freaking precious and fleeting that I eat them up like tiny chocolates at Christmas, knowing that soon I will have to do things not driven by my infatuation such as buying toilet paper or renewing my driver's license. I miss those moments spent under the enchantment of love before the moments have even gone.

In a way, this is a good feeling. I am experiencing a closeness with my surroundings when I usually feel like I am removed, standing on the other side of a pane of glass. I have a strong understanding that none of what I see right now will exist in the same way in five years, five months, or five days from now. My relationship to each individual and thing will change as each individual and thing changes in its movement through time.

Goodbye goodbye goodbye.

By natural extension, I am reminded that I am one of these changing things. I fool myself into believing that I do not change very much; otherwise, I would be confronted with the fact that I am as wildly mobile as everything else I experience appears to be. I think this is why I become sad at times: I am always removed from my sense of who I am, always beyond it, never who I think I am. I outrun myself.

With every touch from the Fiery One, every cup of coffee, every time I wear my favourite sweater, and every time I nearly step on that damnable kitten, I want to exclaim This could be the last time! Did you know that? This might never happen again, and it will be gone. For a small moment, I want to find a way to hold onto it, fold it up and tuck it into my back pocket with the other odds and ends I shove in there. Later, when I do my laundry or need a telephone number I have written down, I can reach into the pocket and rediscover it amongst the business cards and bank receipts.

I want things preserved. I want to suspend my disbelief and know with absolute certainty that, yes, the people and things and events in our lives are real, even once they are no longer materially here with us. I want to know that memory points somewhere.

I felt wistful when the sun set this evening. My chest tightened as the naked trees receded into blackness behind the reflection in my windowpanes. I will wake up and have to greet different trees tomorrow. There will be a different sky. Different cars will be parked in different parking spots.

There is no map for the life behind us. If there were one, mine would have colour-coded dots indicating the type and importance of events such as my first period, my near death experience, that day at the golf course with my family, and my twenty-sixth birthday. Each event or object would be suspended in a mobile with my birth at the top, so that each thing following would hang down from it, drifting the mobile's weight one way or another depending on the position of the thing.

I love the changing, too, because I want to see all of everything all the time. There is a secret note from one young girl to another that is lying where it wasn't yesterday in the gutter. The old man in the grey coat who walks around this neighbourhood every day looks just the same, except that he has a new orange pin on his lapel. The loopy marmalade cat missing a section of one ear is starting to recognize me as someone who's not afraid to touch it.

I am drunk with seeing all of that, but at the same time, my heart thrums a sad descant with each thing that passes. I want to kiss every last moment on the cheek and hold it for a moment in my arms and say I love you. We are old friends parting for the last time. Goodbye excellent cup of coffee. Goodbye my kitten who nearly just fell into the bathtub. Goodbye trees who have been overwhelmed by the night. Goodbye the me of a moment ago. Goodbye.

September Trees