I feel like I have three lives.

Every now and then, in my present life, a memory from the past floats up to the surface of my consciousness - unbidden, and unformed. I don't know how to describe what I mean by "unformed". I spent a lot of time there trying to think of the right word, or metaphor - but nothing just right came to my mind. Perhaps what I meant is that it is not a whole memory - it is a snatch or an essence - like a half remembered smell or a song - that teases me from the edge of my awareness.

The first life is almost wholly buried. I see pictures or hear stories from friends, but they don't seem like my stories. They second life I remember somewhat, but even that is now fading.

Is this partial amnesia? Or am I just growing older. But it feels like  lobotomy of the spheres of my existence - would it, could it, be so sharp if it was just the gradual aging of brain cells? Stroke victims I heard - and I heard it in my second life - can lose one language and retain the other completely. Anyway, these are the ways I usually remember my second life. In stories. And characters and ghosts. They were stories that were told to me. And they woke into my own memory so casually till I am often unsure which one's are my own memories and which ones are someone else's.

Some of the memories are like that - like faded like sepia photographs of an immigrant to a new continent - he hordes them obsessively as the last link to someone he used to be - someone he used to know how to be, and yet he never dare look at them for fear of drowning in the storm of emotions they arouse. They are like a scene abruptly cut from a movie - no beginning no end. A loose page from a book that doesn't fit anywhere on the new bookshelf. Like my mother asking me if I really want to go away for seven years - and matter of factly noting she would not live that long. Or the strange shape of the lock in a small swiss hotel. The madness and immaturity laced into the first poem or letter of admission I dared to write and send out to the world outside - but then my chest feels funny and compressed and I cant breathe so I tuck away the photo in the back of the suitcase and move on again.

Other memories are innocuous. The peculiar taste and feel of Kwalities Strawberry Stick ice-creams - I have never found that texture anywhere again. Or the burst of colors from the first time I printed out a slide film - on my first independent camera.

All the harmless things are the ones I liked, but did not love too much


  1. Expressive. But not three... I think we have multiple lives. Or rather, layers, with each successive layer throwing a hazy veil over the one below.

  2. yes maybe. some maybe class and sub class of lives too :P