We all have those memories. The ones that haunt us. The ones we’d like to reach in and rip out from our heads, pull at them, tearing them out like the strands of an old video tape. Throw them away into the rubbish bin, push them down right to the bottom of the pile and stomp on it, until we’re certain that all that remains is just a pulpy heap of nothingness.
But no matter how many years go by, they don’t disappear; they just stay there, seeping at the bottom like a lingering smell that can’t be washed off. They don’t care if you haven’t seen them in months, or haven’t said hello, because they’re confident, arrogant little buggers. They’ll just appear, like an uninvited guest at a party, having climbed and pushed their way to the top.
And then they’re there, stuck amongst all the other thoughts and worries you’re juggling in your mind, taunting you. And it’s not usually a short visit, they like to make the most of it, make sure you really relive it, just like you were there. Again.
And they play in your head over and over, like some sort of skipping record that you’re unable to stop.
The worst part, you let them, because you can’t help but speculate. Why did I do that?And, if I had done something differently, things would be so much better.
And then, after a while, after they’ve really had their fun, after they’ve twisted themselves into the very fibres of your mind, bonded to the intricate wires of your brain, they go.
But they make us a promise that they’ll come again and no matter how many times we tell ourselves we’re not pathetic, that we’re really worth something, that nobody remembers, or even cares, that it was really nothing, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, because we can’t seem to let go, because we don’t think we’re worth it.
… Because I’m not worth it.
And if I’m not worth it, then I don’t deserve to forget. I don’t deserve to live with a head filled of positive thoughts and good memories. I deserve to anaylse them, go over every minute detail in painstaking rewinds. Wonder what if and why all day long. But it doesn’t mean I want to.
The warm beads of the shower are comforting, as they trickle down through the wet caramel strands of my hair. I lean my face upwards, welcoming the drizzling embrace of the water and try to think of something else. It’s useless though, my head has been possessed, completely taken over by these aching thoughts. So I take a deep breath and I allow them to flood into every crevice of my mind, hoping that they’ll get bored and leave me alone.
They’re all over me now, infecting every single part of me, dimming every light and I feel nothing but darkness.
I slump down onto the cold, damp surface of the bathtub and let the water rush over me entirely, until I can’t even tell which tears belong to me anymore.