Congealed time

It started with a pearly purple scrap of paper that winked at me. It was rough to the touch but had a coruscating sheen that drew magpie-like kids’ eyes. I would try to recreate it, but never came close. My overflowing box of hoarded baubles had a new entrant. They might have pushed it around in resentment. The pile-on of shiny, worthless baubles followed. The purple one stood out—distinct, favoured over the others.
Boxes of meticulously accumulated junk filled an entire shelf. Inspecting them too closely perturbs me; I prefer to tentatively tiptoe my way around them, skimming over the memories so they don’t snag on an unexpected hook.
Of the lot, a few I had made myself; the rest were prised out from other things—a button, a ribbon, a miniature box of bobbing beetles. Most of my memories have now come to resemble the latter. Questioning my recall capacity, I identify a colouring of events, an exaggeration of facts, a borrowing of narrative. How long had a I fooled myself, garnering every scrap of self-important emotion? They fitted neatly, no rough edges; but I could be mistaken. I had interpolated sentiments to strains stealthily gleaned from books, stories, friends whose adeptness at games and toys I envied—and made them my own.
Not letting the worth of the dusty fade, I revisit them, murmur the sequence of events and the intensity of expressions. Fearful of being shorn of my rightful indignation, I cling to them with a zealous fastidiousness. That could explain my impatience with new memories and seeking to ascribe to my earlier perceptions in an attempt to explain my failings. That reminds me to tell myself that I have nothing to explain. But, I like to tell myself it is not to late to change; I still want to have some wriggle room.


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