Memory Lane

We should go to the place that is hard to go to. The place that is foolish and stupid and so over. We’re just going to ignore the DEAD END sign.

Is this really a good idea? No one answers, so you ask again. Someone mutters that it would be foolish to go down this road without brownies. We will not regret the brownies.

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There must be millions of Memory Lanes, all over the world. You know yours pretty well. After all, you only just moved. Looking around, it’s plain to see it’s still fairly well maintained.

Bad memories have this supremely annoying habit of collapsing here. Step onto this street, and you will not remember that he only liked you for your best story, your highest heels, your fastest race, your tallest layer cake, your brightest smile, your most dressed up sandwich.

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You will remember, instead, how he filled your days with giggles and your pantry with treats and your purse with post-it notes. You will remember how he’d always give you the first and last bite. How he’d close your book when your eyelids felt heavy, how he’d brush featherweight kisses across your skin. How he’d tug you in closer when he was fast asleep, and how he’d protest sleepily, adorably, when you went to slip away in the morning. How he made you think about eighty-seven and eighty-nine, and a perfectly gentle old age. With twin rocking chairs, slow afternoons, and postcard-worthy places.

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You won’t remember that he put what was left of your relationship back in the fridge like an already-stale plate of leftovers. The kind that nobody is ever going to eat, but gets covered with plastic wrap anyway — mostly because no one has the heart to throw it away yet.

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You won’t remember that when you weren’t at full wattage, he thought you were rather dull. You won’t remember that you often felt like he was looking at you with a silent plea. Be at your best again so I can love you. 

When you’re standing here, on this lonely loop, you might have trouble keeping track of who ‘he’ is exactly. That’s part of the trouble with coming here. Things get all mixed up, and then you end up eating brownies for dinner.

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Going down this road…it always starts with the best of intentions. Someday you won’t ever come back, not even for a visit. But today…today it feels like he wins. This person (these people) who helped you understand what love is, at a time when you really, really wanted to love somebody. They win, and you lose.

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