The voices in my head.

I am replaying a memory. In the darkness of the theater I relive the feeling of being captured by words not my own, yet they speak my story. Is this the mixture of amazement and pain that Lauryn Hill sang about?

They are my words. Or are they her words? Dare I call them ours?

"No. No, you can't... STOP. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just, I remember things better with you."

I do dare call them that. They were our words once. Once we shared. . . We shared our selves, each other, and our crazy, childlike dreams of what the future could be like if we could just bend reality a little past the breaking point. But reality always wins.

"I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it."

I can feel it. Even through the anasthesia of self-denial and the passionate refusal of personal investment, the words still sting, and the feeling of connection gained and lost still lingers.

Is it better to have loved and lost? Some part of me wants to think that perhaps Samuel Butler's bitter cynicism says it best: "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all."

But I cannot celebrate my freedom. I loved, and do love, and will love. And no number of truisms, clich├ęs or quotations will change that.

"And-and I look at you, and I... and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget."

Forget? Far from it. Forever that moment in that darkened theater will be locked in my memory. Knowing that this simple exchange in a children's film was a key to my life and mind and future.

"I'm sorry, Dory. But I... do."

And she does. And still the world turns.

And All is Well.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

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