This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Memory Morgue

In the shelves of the memory morgue, the bodies lie; frozen in the shape they were last when put away, kept in there to be pulled out and examined someday, perhaps, in years to come. In the darkness and the cold of the shelves, they are preserved as the mind would have them, safe in the knowledge that they were there to be accessed when needed.

Once in a while the mind walks down those silent corridors, under the harsh white lights, down into the basement of the years. Once in a while the hand reaches out and grasps the handle of a shelf, and pulls it out, to examine the memory, watch its frozen face for signs of life, and plants a kiss on its lips before pushing it back into the darkness...until next time.

Those are the good memories.

And there is the other basement – the one with the dim yellow lights, where the cold is so severe that the air seems to freeze. The mind doesn’t want to come in here. But it knows the place exists. And, sometimes, driven by who knows what impulse, it takes a deep breath, walks down the darkened flights of stairs, and comes into this place.

Here are the shelves that are never touched, where the damaged memories lie. Here are the broken shells that were once bright and new, here the memories too painful to relive. Here are the dead children of hopes, the crippled remnants of dreams, the skeletons of love that has fallen to dust. Here we have the essence of pain.

The hand rises here, hesitantly, to touch the outside of a drawer, and try to feel if the pain is as sharp as ever, or if it has dulled. Mostly, the mind recoils, and leaves as quickly as possible, afraid to take the chance. Sometimes, rarely, the hand pulls the drawer open, and views the contents, hoping they will have fallen to dust with the passage of the years.

Sometimes, the contents open their eyes and look back.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2011

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