The thought of her occurs at the strangest times, complete with guilt and regret. It’s not like leaving home and thinking you forgot your wallet or phone. What’s left of significance is still with me: memories of her likes and dislikes, some of her taste in music, even some of her words.
The words of hers were first to begin fading, perhaps because my mind was made up about everything she was telling me: she never really meant anything she said. If she never said anything she meant, why should I treat her words as consequential? Now I can barely reconstruct conversations we’ve had in any detail.
Forgetting words is not knowing place names on a map: whereever you are, it’s virgin territory, it seems. This place can’t possibly be where I’ve been before, these parallels are external, not internal, right?
Her likes and dislikes I may never forget; I learned them as one learns about continents and countries. They’re original, despite how labyrinthine the knowledge gets. It is the things of her distinctiveness that remind me most – of those things, that which I thought she liked best are the most intricate geography of a territory I thought habitable.
I play the songs she liked often. At those times, I think about her the least. The music just carries me away, I don’t think. Something faint is recalled every time I discover the music anew, but that remembrance, while powerful, doesn’t hurt. It communicates, it guides, I feel.