Fog reels in, smothering the flashing colours of memory with clouds of grey. Squinting your eyes doesn’t, voices scramble into cluttered words spoken into a empty, darkened moment. There is only static and the clouded places attached to your stubborn feeling of deja vu. Faces attempt to break through the mist, their expressions caught in the middle, cracked like a broken mirror. Their stretched words come over the torn one-way radio, echoing over and over into the dry, sterile air.
Sometimes bits of moments play out — the lake’s waters rough and tipped with white, and your feet dangle off of a bench. There is something etched into the weathered wood, but in your mind it looks like a wash of scratches, indecipherable. Feet rock back and forth, and time will mean nothing. A clip of a day when the clouds protected the sun, but streaks still shone out to reach across your face and you breathed in.
Another time, it was dark. The wind heavy in your ears, hair blowing into your mouth, and the sand from the beach obscures your vision. When everything goes black, the silence is deafening and the only sound is your thudding heartbeat in your ears; thoughts crash through the grey fog of your mind, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Reaching into the darkness makes it grow further and further, the black chasm so dingy you lose sight of your hand and snatch it back, lest it be forgotten, too. You try to hold onto that time you went ice skating on the pond around the corner for your sixteenth birthday. You remember dinosaur candles, and the way your skates tracked through the soft-falling snow on the ice. It sounded like a dull sharpening of knives, then it all goes to black. You grasp onto any detail you can, gathering them in your arms and watching as they fall through the gaps of your skin like sand in a sieve. Cut to the bathtub — soap bubbles like the clouds of your memory, stacking and climbing above your head, wet hair sticking to your neck. The smallness you feel overwhelms you, and the echo of your scream reverberates in the tile bathroom, only to chip away piece by piece until that smallness turns to ash. It fades first, suddenly so much harder to see clearly, so you squint. Soon its all clouded, and you think you may never see it again. Then, some days when you wake up with pillow marks etched into your face, it’ll flash across your consciousness, startling you. It’ll crawl its way back in on all fours, and the small clips and still pictures play out again.