There’s this song…and when you hear it, suddenly there’s this smell too. It’s like winter, driving with the windows down – snow on the wind. Quick glimpses of faces and little fragments of conversation float around on the ice. They’re all simultaneously jagged and blurry: little memory-colored smudges marring a frozen mirror that you can’t quite focus on, like objects in the dark that you can just barely make out in your peripheral vision, but when you try to look directly at them, they disappear…coarse little sensory ghosts, virtual memory particles fading in and out of existence in time with the music.
This is how we remember…without clarity, without organization. But there is a subtle purpose in this chaos that is unappreciated in its eloquence and effectiveness: it forces us to dwell. It forces us to try pasting the smudges together; to make sense of what we can’t see, coaxing the ghosts out of the corners of our eyes, and convincing them they exist. And we do this for ourselves; for our own entertainment and misery, to relive and regret. To pretend we remember. Self-inflicted brainwashing that sharpens the faces, smooths the jagged parts, and fits the smudges together into shapes we recognize but can’t quite complete – puzzles with missing pieces, islands apart. We jump from one to the next, searching for edges that aren’t there – just more mirrors and more smudges. More snow on the wind.