Here it is…my entry in Lascaux’s contest:
by Michaelle Wilde
There, in the white space between two faux wood picture frames, the memories come to me every night. An autumn sunset dancing across the lake; a lone Chickadee perched in the maple, puffed up against the cold; holding my son, just minutes old. They’re all there, waiting for me. Occasionally, the memories linger, allowing me to feel the sun’s warmth on my face, the mist of a waterfall as it envelopes me. Other times, they flash by as if a child’s picture viewer is in charge.
Doctors, nurses, even my own family, speak as though I’m not in the room. They discuss my “condition,” whatever that is. The nurses regurgitate the update they’ve given my family for months.
I remember the first thing I found beautiful. My mother. Burnt umber waves flowing past her shoulders. Her laugh came easily when I did something amusing. Her attentive nature when I was ill. It must have taken a lot out of her…I was sick a lot. But, she was always there; ready with what medicine she had available.
My memories are truly my own now, for the words to describe their beauty remain inside me, unwilling to pass my lips.
An unwelcome surge of activity interrupts my nightly routine: hushed but urgent commands, a flood of light, I’m wheeled away from the memory spot.
I’m confused for a moment before I realize this life is holding all the memories it can. It is time for the next life to begin storing memories.