I’ve got a woman who seems solid. It’s still new. A couple times recently she asked me about my past with one girlfriend or another and I spent too much time answering her questions. She questioned if I was still attached to these other people… The people who were, generally, long gone. One is not. She tries to cling on, and I’m well practiced at ignoring her.
Now, I have something good, and something I really want to see go forward, and maybe be made permanent. The echos of my past though, are tainting this new and good thing. I decide it’s time for a purge. I delete a few photos of old girlfriends, and some other general physical house cleaning of such things.
Some time ago, I had torn out a dozen or so pages of my journal, most, or maybe all, had been of my most recent ex, but whenever I had done that, I hadn’t the ability to discard them, so put them in an envelope and saved that decision for another day. The envelope was tucked away in a drawer, and then forgotten. Recently, I re-discovered it and decided it was the best way, symbolically, to start to let my memories of some pains and some failures decay was to dispose of the contents of the envelope. To add to that, I removed a few more pages from my journal as well, about a few false starts with a couple of people… Really only a few pages of a couple hopes.
I had sent my mind on some matcha, as it is my choice of teas before anything that ought have ceremony or ritual to it, but then choose two things:
1) Sencha, as this would be a day like any other, except I’d be throwing away a few pieces of garbage.
2) There would be no ritual to this, because these pieces of paper had no significance. This morning would only include a trip to the Dumpster to throw a few pieces of paper and an envelope into it.
The only problem with decision #2 is I’d already soaked the pages in alcohol.
The flames melted a bowl in the snow, and pieces of blackened paper floated up into the air like the feathers of a crow.
I stood in my doorway and sipped on my tea. With a screwdriver I poked through the pages, spreading them out so they’d all burn. I saw words like, “hope” and “happy” which felt like it should be difficult to see, but I knew I was cremating these inscribed memories for all of the other words.
The sencha turned out perfect. My skin smells of smoke. And today- I’ll forget.