I don’t remember much at all from that year. Between the nightly purge of brain cells through binge drinking and monthly ictal spasms where my mind seemed to glitch, then auto shutdown
and reboot, I wasn’t able to retain it all with my usual crispness lucidity. Or maybe there wasn’t much worth revisiting, memory destinations unwelcoming when unlit by excitement, connection, the impetus
to pursue a similar sabbatical from the days of coffee with too much milk, hours lost in the hypnosis of repetitive work, then watching serial television beside a loved one wondering why I’m unable to shake the numbness,
and revisiting the haven of a wild night, even a bad night, even one of the worst nights because at least I felt so deeply, so bright and animal and a part of it all. When I think of those times I don’t go back to the place,
just a shadow picture slideshow on an empty screen, captioned in my unrelenting voiceover: this is the night I got drunk and naked and wrecked their house and everyone hated me click, i taste a too strong vodka cranberry
in their new mugs, clock, i am awash with the strangeness of waking up in a curtain cell roped to a cot by the IV in my arm, a new appendage, click, the relief that I was still too drunk to feel
the depth of the fallout, click the shame and the fear smaller in the distance. This is the day my best friend told me everyone hates me, click, closeup of his putty colored face, hawklike, black eyes, grimacing click the terrible epiphany, the dread
as my head finally catches up with my click the rage that I know he told me just to hurt me, that it seems almost possible to pretend that it was a lie to intended to gut me,
but even if he’s lying it is and has been true for me that I have no friends here, am reviled, an infamous loudmouth whorish lush click Telling Ryan he could kiss me, click an oasis, his eyes like my fathers, click comfort click anticipation,
but muted, are they cries muffled by distance and drowned out by closer caterwauling pining for newer boys or was it was always just a quiet stirring, or just a place I never go
because there is no adventure or wild lust and memory’s picture fades unless you keep up maintenance, taking pictures of the pictures of the pictures until what you have is so deeply
tilted from the angles and the lens of your mind in each moment you looked at it, a goodbye wave becomes a symbolic push becomes a brave salute becomes her silly little fingers teasing becomes a wave
and maybe she never waved in the first place. So maybe just the feelings, a brief synopsis, the facts as I remember them, have retold them, recited them, is a lot truer
than the scenes that I rewatch and revisit regularly, still in awe of this piece of me, still scoping the scene for a new clue or just nostalgic for the place and time
and self of then, specifically, like an old song.
But so many days are missing, so many events, thick stacks of leaves torn from my rolodex, it must have been my soft sick brain, for fear and pain never blocked me
from cataloguing everything perfectly before, every all nighter, every fight, the scene’s objective, who I played, how much I weighed, the line Kevin says that killed me even the second time I saw the episode in 8th grade,
that I wanted to use to make someone feel like I did when I heard it. I must have atrophied, couldn’t carry it all. I wonder where I carry that part of my experience then?
And what about all the nights I drank so much my brain fell asleep inside me and my brutal, desperate Id took over, or I drank past that and almost killed the id too
as I sputtered about, crawling, leaking, groaning helpless, where when what was that. In sum it has to be 2 weeks of my life I have spent in a blackout. Where do I carry that experience?
Every time I blacked out could I access it and it all flooded back and that’s why I kept drinking but I have no way to remember or tell anyone? Perhaps privy to moments that changed the world,
curled in the corner unnoticed like Churchill’s dog, a gibberish spitting amnesiac no one would think twice she buries data so deep inside her brain even she can’t access it.