I remember nothing. Nothing from that day on the pier.
I stare at the photo of me and my lover, our hair blowing in the wind, smiling from ear to ear, the Mediterranean sea is peaceful behind us and our tan lines are peeking out of our incredibly dated swimsuits. The back of the photo is captioned 'Capri 1981.' I recognize the writing. It is mine. But everything else is beyond a blur. Everything else has simply gone completely out of my mind. As if it was never there.
Where did the years go? Where did my mind go? Where did this ole' lover of mine go?
I check out my old self's physique in the photo. My perky breasts. My smooth skin. My skinny arms. Those all went away somewhere as well. I see hints of them in the mirror, when the shadow of my old self pops for a visit. I turn my glance to look at the bathroom's mirror. Is my old self there? No. She is not there. She is not there at all. Where did she go?
I sink down on my mother's bed. It is soft. Too soft. I've told her to replace that old mattress. I told her her back aches would thank her. She never did. I shake my head in disapproval. But she is not there to hear my critical grunts. She is not there. She is not there at all.
I close my eyes for a moment, with the photo still in my hand.
This is where my mother went to sleep. Every night. Every afternoon at precisely two o'clock. This is where she'd wake up every day and reached for her glass of water on the nightstand. I see there is still water in that glass. There is still water, enough for a sip. One sip for an elderly woman who is not there. She is not there at all.
I feel the green duvet against my nose, and take in a whiff of scent. Grapefruits. It smells like grapefruits. Citrus scents are not my preference, but this one? This one smells nice. It smells like my mother. I take another whiff and notice the floodgates come pouring down. Tears are streaming down my face involuntarily these days. I don't wipe them away. I let them fall where they may. One drop falls down on the photo in my hand. It staines the shoulder of my ole' lover. A shoulder I cried on many nights. And some nights I caressed lovingly. A shoulder I don't know anymore. A slightly freckled shoulder. Or is it a coffee spot I see?
Time blurs and time stains. Time dissolves like a bath bomb in a pool of water. Like salt in a hot oily skillet. Like tea dissolving in boiling water. Like my mind putting together pieces of my past.
I walk out of the room with the photo in my hand. A piece of my past that I'd like to remember. A piece of my past that my mother remembered. A piece of my past that my mother held on to before she left.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman