the future of nostalgia

    Some day it will come: the cloud of once again unknowing, the long shore of where did we put that and what were their names again.  The good hours, the passionate weekends, twenty minutes of perfect twilight on a beach, that fraction of a second before the gun went off, the pavement where you grazed your knees playing police and thief with the neighbourhood samseng, even the blood, even the scars. 

    What you were when you last looked, blurry from sleep and without your glasses (where did you leave them last night and who were you with when you did?).   Water shared and spilled on the roadmarch, street signs forsaken, the colour of your mother’s carnations -- always twelve, leaves on the last tree to be cut down.  The piling begins.  The parked car disappears from view.  The polling booths have closed, if they were ever open.  Test papers no longer trouble you. Grand hotels crumble, old feuds dissolve into laughter. 

    What’s left is right, all else antique and feathery.   There are new recipes for convictions, unripe apple cores, overcooked grievances. Gardens will be made of spent histories, the waking-for, the worth-retiring, the soft balloon and ice-cream you were promised for being good. 

    The day will come (or has already come) a stranger lifts the dark silk lightly, puzzled to find so familiar the quality of shadow, unopened boxes in the basement.  He looks up tongues humulus lupulus tastes again the amber ale from that summer in Cambridge, what came after.  After the heat of the moment, cool mornings.   The last of the clan born in captivity.  The stamp-machine, the fire hydrant, the long-playing records collected in tranquillity.  They will carry what you no longer have to.   Fish are swimming up the clouded river.  Your first love's last wish: a photograph in which she looked happy and wore red.

06 May 2010   15:31 hours
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