From Memory

a short story. A weird tale of recollection and the absurdity in memory and recollection.tale of recollection

The walls were grey and the ceiling a dull green beige colour. There was a small, black box by the window which, from memory, contained nothing of any value. There was a seat near the fire where I sat and read the morning and weekly papers. I was never fussy about the news, except the new parts, so mostly I would sit and think. It is something I never seem to have time for anymore, just sitting thinking about times gone by or even the times still to pass you by. I lost many hours in front of that fire just losing myself in thought. Those were the days, I’d say, or those will be the days, depending on my point of reference, whether I was dreaming about the past or the future. Sometimes I tried to dream about the present, but for some reason I kept drifting into the past or the future, which was weird. I could never keep a dream of the present. I always asked myself why I couldn’t think in the present and could only reminisce about the past and only contemplate the future. I always wanted to reminisce about the present, you know exactly what is going on in the present and you don’t have to rely on a useless sense of memory for that. It is just about to happen, or has just happened, but then that seizes to be the present and automatically becomes the past.
       The walls turned a beige colour and the ceiling went yellow, from memory. The partition that separated the world from me turned a dull brown, the handle was starting to rust. I never went near the partition, its job is to hide the world and my job is to keep it shut, to keep the world from the rest of the people, hiding it from judgement and resentment. I am the wool pulled over the people’s eyes, I am their belief. They tell me things you know, all their little secrets and shames. They confess to me, they ask me to make it all better. I can’t of course. I am only human. I tend to make mistakes, but not when it comes to the partition and the rest of the world. I can never deceive the real world. Still they come, in their flocks of tens, hundreds and thousands, to seek me, to find me. They rarely do, no one finds me because I am so well hidden.  I hide the walls and the ceiling and the partition from them. And they hide from themselves.  It is a shame in a way.
       The walls were bending, from memory; they have turned from beige to a yellow. The ceiling is no longer here, it had rotted away many months back.
       The partition remains, just, it is definitely on its last hinge. It hangs neither here nor there, it has turned black, surely rotten, or is it a dark, dark green, I haven’t decided yet, lets go with black, I daren’t go any closer to the partition, I daren’t leave my seat. They are questioning me more and more as the day goes on, the last few years have been hard, they have made my walls and my partition rot, they are losing themselves. They can no longer expect anything from me. I am done with them.
        So I sat, next to my slowly burning fire and my black box, containing nothing of any value, and I thought for a bit, then I read the morning paper and then I waited a bit. There was no sound, there was not even a whisper, no one wanted help, no one needed guidance, and no one needs me anymore.
       I am nearing the end of my life. The walls have joined the ceiling and gone, the partition, from memory, was nearly there, destroyed and blackened by the loss. There is no denying it, it is definitely black, not green as I once suspected. Black. I horded up all my belongings in my little black box, which as I say holds nothing of any value, and I stood. It took a while to get to a standing position after spending so long on my arse; it felt wrong so I sat down for a bit and thought. I thought for a long time, about the past and the future, contemplating and reminiscing. I still couldn’t think about the present, it was too much for me, my head hurt after a while, and I realised that the only way forward is to reminisce about the past and contemplate the future, there was no point in trying to contemplate the present or reminisce about the present, it wouldn’t happen. I stood, again struggling, and from memory, I turned to look down at the people, I looked for a while and turned to leave, but the partition blew away, the world was bearing down on the people. I had failed. From memory it was my last act as a human in a human world. I had failed to be the wool over people’s eyes.  I had failed as a guardian of the truth. I had failed as a keeper of the peace.  I was nothing but a failed dictator in a dying nation.  I was a failure. 
       From memory the people strolled up to the top of the hill and looked out, they walked passed where the partition once was, they walked passed where the walls had once been and they walked under where the ceiling once was. They went into the new place. I had no control. I am nothing but an old man with a rolled up paper in my hand, swishing at the people. I am just a crazy old man standing in the way of something beautiful. A Utopia, they said, Utopia, I let them pass I couldn’t stop them, not at my age. I let them go, into their new land. From memory I did all I could.

The End

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