You never forget the first person who informs you of the death of someone you love. You remember everything about the day, sometimes you remember what you had at breakfast and ordinary events like how you burnt a favourite shirt or blouse that morning take on a new significance.
You remember the person who came bearing the bad news, and sometimes you even remember where exactly you where. Whether you were sitting down in a sofa, on a hospital bench or even outside carrying out some mundane task; you’ll always remember what you were doing moments before the earth-shattering news was delivered.
The first person who tells you of this news, will forever be part of that memory… you will not be able to narrate how you felt about the loss of that loved one without situating that individual somewhere along the narrative. They will be mentioned inevitably because the story would be incomplete without the moment of telling and that awful moment of being told.
If it was a hospital official, you might even remember their face as a centre-piece accompanying the calamitous receipt of that news; if it is a relative… they earn themselves an extra sub-heading in the story of your life.
You also never forget the day you discover you’re being cheated on. Sometimes you even remember exactly what you were wearing on the day the stubborn evidence presented itself and dislodged the happy illusion that all was well.
You even remember those hours in which you tried to rationalize the hard evidence, trying to circumvent these unpleasant truths and cling on a little while longer to the illusion you were pleased to call your love-life.
You don’t even forget the moment when you confront the offender and they either confess with profuse apologies or dribble you with mind games that leave you feeling that you have in fact wronged them.
Whoever forgets that moment when it becomes clear you’ve been betrayed and you have absolutely no power to change it; that sickening feeling of having been made a complete and certifiable fool of somehow seeps through your pores and the sensation lasts for as long as the memory does.
You don’t forget the first time you had sex… unless it was so horrible and you’re embarrassed at the thought of it that you shove it away in the recesses of your mind. Nevertheless whenever the word ‘virginity’ is mentioned; for a fraction of a second you remember who took yours.
You don’t forget your first kiss either, your very first experimentation with doing things you only used to see on TV; not sure whether your mouth should be open, half-open or clamped shut… not even sure whether your tongue should stay in or stick out?Not even sure whether your eyes should be open or closed and worrying the entire time whether this ‘kissing’ thing was going right or not because it all seemed silly this enthusiastic exchanging of saliva.
You never forget the moment you became a parent, especially if you’re a mother. You never forget that initial bewilderment that says, “Goodness, did I just produce that?” and then this sweeping, swirling cocktail of emotions numbing the pain and allowing you to ignore the ministrations of the midwives who are still tugging at whatever and stitching back whatever.
I mean there are many moments that we mark as monumental by the sheer emotion those experiences generated.
But this is one of those idle, ‘I was just passing by’ blog posts and now I shall be on my way hoping you can pick up the conversation if you’re so inclined.
Off I go and thanks for letting me ‘just pass by’ through this blog post and indulging me as I disrupted whatever it was you were doing. By all means carry on!