After school my brother slinks
into the blue shade of the pines.
Every year it seems, he... [+]
A: It’s like sinking.
It’s sour cherry red, dripping fire down your throat, into the hollows of your ribcage, till all your lovesick thoughts are applesauce-soft and easier to swallow.
It’s pulling polaroids apart, pressing the yellowed pieces of moth-eaten memories to the back of your brain and hoping they’ll stick.
Q: What’s the best one?
A: It’s the weight of the old hammock that your cousins piled onto in the summer. The way you’d sit at the end and shift so the youngest would fall, laughing, onto your lap.
... No, it’s the road trip where time stretched like taffy with every mile on the highway. The taste of rest-stop root beers. The sound of static on every radio station, so you sang or you slept or you argued with your brother over something small.
... No, it’s folding star maps into paper boats and sailing them in your best friend’s backyard pool. The water and smell of chlorine soaked into the cuffs of your jeans.
... No, it’s —
Q: — is it hard to decide?
A: It’s impossible. Nostalgia is a kaleidoscope, spinning, shifting constantly. Like how you try to learn your mother’s mother tongue, but the words change when they pass from her lips to yours.
Q: Does it hurt to exist?
A: It hurts to forget.
A: The mind would rather ache than empty.
Q: Are you fading now?
Q: How does it feel?