It can begin (and has begun) with the slightest utterance, this embedded trifling of a scant memory.
“I want coffee,” in response to the looming McDonald’s at the side of the road. I want coffee. It’s a long drive ahead. A windy, dreamy drive by the coast. We relish the thought, but not now.
This is how discounted memories are born, and this is how they live and die, and would have lived and died in ages past. But now, now…now, everything is cemented in this grand cyber memory and nothing escapes our past.
Everything we do is engrained in the sands of reality and the digital world is a grand cathartic vehicle of self-mortification for the sentimental.
Traces of everything, however insignificant, live on, are rekindled and remembered, even if perhaps they shouldn’t have been. This is a sign of our times. When you try to forget, the digital legacy of your heartbreak beats on across the chalkboard surface of our world. It is bad enough to ruminate about things as they are raked across the bloody blades of our memory, but quite another when the beast is revisited through traces of digital torture.
Of things that used to be and things that are no more. The exquisite heartbreak of the minutiae of moments past.
I want coffee, I said.
A McDonald’s was visible down the road, its towering arches calling from afar, heralding wayfarers to come with hungry mouth and bloated wallet.
The most infinitesimal instances, obscured by time and life, resurface and clamor in your mind, calling you back to that moment when you said you wanted coffee and she retored that she wanted fries and like delightful lovers, you realized you both shared a spontaneous bond which involved leaving the freeway even though you should be concentrating on driving and getting to your destination. But as lovers do, we became lost in the moment, discarded reason and deviated from the journey for several moments to buy coffee and fries in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday the 13th while flaunting the innate bad fortune of the day by making the most of it in such a flippant, joyous manner.
The cashier complimenting your car because it’s the same thing he drives (he drives stick, too!).
And the digital trail remains and now it is etched in the magnetic walls of eternity.
A scrap of paper, an aging receipt you found in your car’s center console after parking for the night and as you gathered your stuff. Memories rebound and inflate your soul with lead.
You can scream or die.
And you wonder if you should hold on to this memento or leave it in the car. You bring it inside. You clasp the paper, the memory, valiantly.
You can forget this all. You can let it all smolder in your memory and die along with you, one day, soon, late, nobody the fuck knows, but sometimes you just wonder if sooner rather than later wouldn’t be all that bad.
A fleeting moment etched in the sands of eternity, virtue of the digital world.
The callous hordes can assume the memory and regale it for centuries to come long after my body, the fries, and my passenger, are unseen ligaments of dust skimming the Earth’s generational remnants.
I wanted coffee.