“I miss the good old days when portrait painting was the only form of visual reproduction. But of course, you are too young to remember that.”
I read the words in a tiny glass screen in the palm of my hand. Not a muscle moved, not even an eyelash flicker.
You don’t show emotion, reading an SMS. And yet, those stark words behind a scratched window, no bigger than your palm, tie you to another person in another frame, another time. How can you not respond?
I wonder how to say it’s not déjà vu if you remind me of an emotion, not a place. And it’s not who you remind me of or when or even why.
It is that you do
and that connects you
that you never were at,
It connects you to me.
I didn’t remember what it was like to feel this way and you reminded me. And all those memories that lined up behind the me that you know, of the me that you never did? How young am I if I can remember all that you don’t even see? Time is marked by the trails it left and not by how quickly it passed. And what else is nostalgia, but tracking those trails, with the imagination following them back as far as they go?
And all of that can be said in one look but not an SMS. I put down my cup and type,
“I have memories, alright. Sepia-toned ones.”
And underneath my words, a swirl of cream turns, speckled with tiny spots of coffee.