Thick Night

"How old are those lamps?" she asked. 

In actuality I knew nothing about this town, she knew more than I, such as why there was a solitary letter on the hill. Yes, there was that night years previously, where I staggered in grief in that very spot, before we talked. It was night then and I couldn't help from confusing that place with a film I once saw. That was England--or so it was set--and this was not.  And yet, the air seemed as thick as a London night. 
In those days, it was commonly assumed this town would heal me through its familiarity. I needed comfort and this place provided it even though the houses, the streets and the stone curbs that lined them released such few memories; ones that were fragmented at that. The time my mother crashed her bicycle and nearly hit her head on that jagged curb or the time my aunt led my sister and I to a window of an abandoned house where a wooden crate inside read "Live Organs Eat Raw." Only one of these memories could be confirmed by a second account today even though to me they are equally murky. Now even my walk there by that dim lamp light seems murky. I just know that at those moments I had great ideas. In fact, I did for a while even while I struck them down one by one. Still I return in thought to that other night where we walked that other street, similar, though letters on the sign were re-arranged and this memory persists as it would. Her reach around me as I made way. Then there were those places we cared nothing about, flannuering but without appreciation of the sites we passed by.  Whole cities we let pass by. Of all our places, our imprint remained there in the sand as I would later find out. Of course this was impossible with the unending tides that filled our steps. So I knew at this moment how disconnected those memories were from their geographies but still I feared those places. To me they were combined like failed knit-work impossible to unwind. But for her, how she could tell me simply, with appreciation and delight, how she admired those lamp-posts at night. Sure was her freedom, with careful unravel. 


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