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Just Remember
24 February, 2002 :: 1:58 a.m.

Still lost, still wanting to scream...

We're driving over to my mom's house because my aunt is there who I haven't seen in years. Lots of years. I lose it. We're listening to Coldplay and driving down the road...the sun is just a little bit of purple and red left on the horizon, so the car is dark. I start to lose it. Tears are streaming down my face and I don't think Emily has any idea. I'm driving a road that I've driven thousands, literally thousands, of times before and I start to come undone. The worst part? I'm not even sure why this is happening. Just suddenly this road that I could drive, and actually have driven, in my sleep suddenly doesn't feel like a place I belong. It's so different now. There are things on that road that are totally new to me, that I don't remember ever seeing before, that probably were there a few weeks ago when I drove to Wellsboro the last time, but that I just took no notice of. I used to know this road...Bill used to live just up here across from the state police barraks, but now he doesn't, driving this road used to mean that I was heading home...for years to Wellsboro, and for a little bit of time to Whitneyville, but that road was the way it's nothing. It's just a strange road and it doesn't feel like I have any place on it. That's what brings tears to my eyes because time has marched on, things have changed and left me with nothing but my thoughts and memories. Home no longer exists anywhere on this road...not that this county has ever felt like home, but at least I knew I had a destination that I belonged at, that people wanted to see me at when I took this I don't.

I feel like a total stranger in Wellsboro now. Even when I was in high school I had few friends and didn't really want to be there...but I knew I had a place to go. I knew that there was a place for me and now it's just foreign. When the hell did this car rental place get here? Whent he hell did that house change colors? How could I have known this road so well and now feel like an alien visiting for the first time? This is just magnifying all of the feeling I'd already been having. The ironic thing is I'm supposed to stop at Char's to get my memory box--a box I store little mementos in--and I totally forget. It's just a green Tupperware box that has ticket stubs, a baseball from my grandfather, letters from my dad, and lots of other things that tie to things that have happened. I'm flipping out about only having memories left and not fitting in, and I forget to stop and get my box of memories. I want to go get it right now, but I don't know if Char's parents will have left the stuff sitting out and I'd hate to drive all the way there at twenty minutes to four and have it not be there. And then we get home from a good night (after I stifled the tears and pretended I was fine), and Emily gets upset about things that I've held on to. I have this paper that I have no idea who's like a short romance those cheesy Harlequin's just a short story, but because it's about a blonde haired, blue eyed girl, Emily assumes it's about Char. It's not Char's handwriting, but it is definitely a girl's handwriting. Why would some other girl write a romance story about Char and me? That makes no sense. I'm trying to wrack my brain and think of who it could be, but Emily just wants me to throw it out and then makes a reference to other things I've kept that are definitely linked to Char. I have kept mementos from every girl I've been with, even if it's just been a few dates. They are people I've known and made an impression and I keep things to remember them. I have stuff from Jen, Tara, Peggy, Heather and who knows who else... I just hang on to these's not like I want to forget where I'm at now and relive those times, I just like to have things that link me to the past...

Music is the same way...I remember songs and who I was with at the time. Or who I wanted to be, but wasn't with... It's not like I'm a ladies' man...I can't just get any woman I want. I've had crushes that never amounted to anything and I'm not hung up on these girls, but I still might here a song and think, "Oh yeah, that's from '95 when I had a crush on..." whoever. That's just how I am. And it's not just girls...I hear songs and I remember playing ball with Chuck at Packer Park, or hanging out with Wayne and throwing frisbee for like 4 hours a day...Pat and the nudie bar. It's just how my brain works...I like to remember people and things and songs or little trinkets help me remember times that were good. I hardly ever look at this stuff, I just like to have it. Most people have a box of pictures or something that they rarely look at, but it they were destroyed in a fire or something, they'd be devastated because a link to the past has been erased. I'm not going to apologize for being this way. Maybe I'm wrong for hanging on to that romance story, but I keep hoping that some day something will click and I'll remember what it's about and why it got into my stuff. In the meantime is it hurting anything that I have it? No. I'm sorry that it bothers Emily that I hang on to things, but it's who I am and who I always have been...long before I ever knew she existed I was saving things. I'm not going to just stop now and throw it all away. Maybe should we go our separate ways she'll throw away every and any thing that reminds her of me, but I'm not going to throw away the shit that reminds me of her if that happens...she's part of my life and I'm going to remember her.

Maybe there's something wrong with me for not wanting to let go of my past, but I feel the need to remember where I've been and who I was when I was there. I'm different now from when I dated any other girl that I've been with...I'm sure there's enough similar that they'd recognize me, but I'm different mentally. I've lost bits of myself, but I hold on to things from those times and try to remember being that person. I listen to Wish by the Cure and it transports me to the summer of '95. That's when that cd meant the most to me. I'm not that person anymore, but I'm not going to forget him. He's part of me and part of how I got to where I am now...I can't just throw away that cd and forget him. I owe him too much for that. I owe every me that I've ever been the courtesy of remembering them and what was good and bad about being that person so that I can continue to move forward and become who I'm supposed to be. I haven't a fucking clue who I'm supposed to be, but letting go of my past isn't going to help me find out. Trying to forget everything I've known and invent myself all over again...that's tempting, but it's not going to happen. Can't do it.

Maybe that road doesn't feel like I'm going home anymore, but I'm not just going to forget when it did feel like the way home. That road goes to so many places...Bill's, Mike's, Antrim, Char's and her parents' camp, my parents' house...I've gone so many different places by travelling that same road that I can't just forget it. I have to hold on...I just wish it didn't have the power to make me break down like that.

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