Memories on the Shelf

The truth is that I wouldn’t really know where to begin with an idea like this, so I might as well just start by telling you: there is no such thing as a buried memory. No such thing has ever been buried. Rather, more likely is the scenario in which a sea of shelves spread out among the vast inner space of the mind. And there, within the catacombs of wooden planks reaching for infinity, you’ll find the far distance memories of the past–very much above ground. Some are propped neatly behind the correct tag, appropriately stacked and dispersed in such ways that make them easily accessible. Others still are piled high and overflowing into the aisles, threatening to cascade down upon an unsuspecting browser thumbing through the pages of the last decade, hoping to savor the remnants of a happier time. And maybe that’s how it works too–memories succumbing to the force of gravity in the mind, crashing down upon the head of their maker and forcing them to relive every emotion it holds. High above the aimless wandering of consciousness, such memories pile and shift restlessly, inching toward the edge of their safety where the passage of time had pushed them higher and higher. So out of view they are that a free falling plunge onto the head of one who occupies the aisle below is sure to leave the victim crippled. And such is the precisely experience I mean to elucidate, for hardly have I ever gone digging for such memories of woe. To bury them and leave them would cannot explain their return, as those things that are dead and buried remain so. There has yet to be any person buried that later uprooted to achieve reanimation; but memories are so like this. From a place like death they come back, retaining all the vigor of their birth and haunting the steps of the one most disturbed by their experience. The feeling is not unlike that of a falling object hitting you in the head: unfortunate, piercing, debilitating, and determined to conjure all such associated emotional experiences of the aforementioned.

Though rare enough it may seem to those on the outside looking in, there exists in dearth the occurrence of death by such a fall of memories. Through the efforts of time and the source of memories, the shelves on which they sit are pushed higher and higher until they can no longer be seen. In this case out of sight is not out of mind, but rather only out of sight. In the event that a fatal plunge of memories past struck the head of their maker, the result could be death. So, although no one has ever truly buried a memory, a memory falling hard enough has most certainly buried a person.

Matthew Rosario

American / Writer / Musician