Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Remember

There are images and scents and tastes that have become engrained in me. They are more than just stale data collecting dust in the corners of my mind. Once triggered they set off a reaction that floods my senses with scenes and emotions and vignettes from the past. It's hard to put into words, but these encounters, if you will, are not like watching old reels. They are much more vivid, alive, emotional. Sometimes I can be set off by something and it is like hearing a single clear voice in a crowd that puts everything else in the background. In an instant it takes over as the sole reality in my mind, and then just as quickly, fades away into the aether. I have three examples to share, one for each category listed.

Image: The Mariner's Museum holds a special place for me as the grounds and walking paths were a big part of my courtship and early married years. The walks alone together or with our dog Georgie. Later they included outings with our little one. I remember.

Scent: During my courtship I used to wait in the evening for my beloved at the bottom of her stairs while she took her shower in the evening. The smell of her soap upon opening the bathroom door was a mark of the completion of duties and the beginning of a few hours of togetherness, closeness, sharing as the day came to an end. I remember.

Taste: When I was going through the period of my cancer diagnosis I received a number of whole body scans in various types of imaging systems. On the morning of one test I had to go through a multi-step process of purging and cleaning my intestines. There was a particular nasty suppository that was part of the process, but another was a laxative that had to be consumed. It tasted faintly like ginger ale. Whenever I drink a ginger ale, the entire morning huddled close to the bowl comes rushing back. I remember.