Late Night Memories

Sitting on my windowsill, smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of Earl Gray, I feel a sense of peace. Ever since I was a child, there was something mystical, something indescribably magical about night time. The glow of the moon, the black pavement glittering and shining, the deathless quietness of it all. Later, night time became even more special as I associated it with sneaking out and going to parties, drinking the forbidden fruits of alcohol and bitter drugs, feeling out of control. I’d go outside, loosing sense with reality as I stared into the night sky and thought about the universe. Tonight, however, was quiet. As I stared out into the streets, I thought about the fragility of mortality. I once read a quote that apparently the gods envy us. “They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” I think about how the boys brag about their drunken conquests, armed with their liquid courage and their lynx scented ralph lauren shirts. I see the girls, light in their naïve eyes describing their hopelessly romantic summers and how they felt love on their lips in the form of a blonde-haired boy with a crooked nose and a tattooed name across his chest. And now I know. Now I understand- we are obsessed with the past. Even as I’m writing this, the moment I put down that first word, it’s all a memory. There is no reality, as each second passes and fades into our recollection, it’s gone. We can never feel it again, never grasp it again. Maybe that’s why humans are so self-absorbed, using a magical tongue to tell exaggerated stories, because we want to explain how we felt, how we loved, how we cried and lost and laughed. We want to go back there, but we can’t. It’s gone. Forever. There’s something impeccably beautiful in that, though. Even trying to recreate a memory creates something else differently entirely. I will never be as young as I am now. I will never sit in Louie’s flat, have the same conversations I had with Chris, and Jodie. I will never be on the top of that Ferris wheel with Jack, looking down at the world. I will never sit between my mother and father and feel so blessed to have these two wonderful people always look out for me. And if I do, then it will be different. A new memory, a new experience. People are sometimes terrified of the future. Of the unknown. But I am not afraid. The future will arrive, and soon, it will be gone.