Sometimes my life is like that. I wake up one day and suddenly a week is gone, or a month, or a year. What I’m left with is a vague memory of the time, like a skeleton made of smoke. Occasionally something got big enough or strong enough or loud enough to get through the fog and leave an impression, and when I wake up the smoke skeleton has developed a soggy bladder or a single clear trapezius or maybe just a radiating pain in the ankle. But all these things exist in a hazy vacuum.
It’s hard to tell what I missed. And the things that break through the fog enough to be memorable aren’t particularly good or bad or important. They’re just moments, incidents that registered for some reason when everything else vanishes silently into the fog.
I remember the day my dog died. The day my daughter graduated from college. Going to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the W. Also the young woman who played the cancer victim in that amazing small play “Wit,” also at the W. Selling “Mad Hats” like crazy at the first Windows Arts Fair.
Snow. And then another snow. And, amazingly, another snow. All last winter.
The night the oak tree fell on the back of our house and sounded like the biggest thunder ever. Seeing patches of blue sky through the ceiling (and roof) of my office/craft room. The day the tornado hit Wren and Smithville, feeling the ground tremble under my feet and understanding awe in a way I never did in any California earthquake.
I remember our new puppy throwing up – twice – on the hoodie I was holding him in on my lap on the way home. Walking through the maze of corridors at the hospital in search of Outpatient Surgery the day my daughter had her tonsils out.
These are the bits of viscera, muscle, fat and organ meat that drift around the smoke skeleton of a lost time. Maybe it’s the same way for everybody. Maybe everybody loses big chunks of daily existence and just doesn’t worry about it.
When I am clothed and in my more-or-less right mind, I try to grab things, people, events, places, moments, and shove them into words so that when the fog descends again, I can remember. Maybe.