16 March 2012

fortnight :: three

No sweet-sixteen, prom-night tune.  No wedding-first-dance aria.  I recoil from boxing in a song with my personal-one-of-a-kind memory.  Songs are personal, driven by the songwriter’s private emotions, from the heart, from a memory, from a wish, possibly on the back of a wet-ringed napkin, perhaps while leaning into a broken down couch, a spiral notebook perched on a knee with the once perfectly mitered edges worn and curling from hours-days-weeks of use, an abused pencil close by with such perfect dental records embedded in the soft wood as to give a forensic scientist a wet dream.   Who am I to seize that as my own?  How many dozens, hundreds, have also clutched it as their own?
Still, there are triggers.  I have triggers.  Memories, being born mercurial and woven into an elegant thorny labyrinth of electrical synapses, are indeed most vidid when fused with a sensory trigger.    Fragments of sounds (tones, really), a fragrance slipping by, a texture, a particular pigment or hue.
Church bells, marking time, putting order to the day, would ring in my home town at noon every day of the week, and again at six o’clock, reminding the residents of meal times, to be taken with their families at home (preferably).  It was a small town, not limited to, yet unquestionably crowning pieces to me during my formative years, two traffic lights, a Girl Scout lodge, a Dairy Queen (open only in summer, making ice cream cones all that more exquisite), three brothels (down by the river, and, yes, on the other side of the tracks, legal, and open all year round), and a two-story post office so cavernous inside where, I’m sure, the best of rumors were born inasmuch as personal whispers and angry mumbles exchanged were, if truth be told, not personal at all, ricocheting off the furnished walls of FBI most-wanted posters and an orderly array of brass-framed, sequentially numbered glass doors of mail boxes.  At noon, as though that time of day demanded an introduction, a fanfare--hear ye, hear ye, a roll call for families, do you know where your children are--, an abridged stanza of some obscure hymn would ring out from the church tower, the peal of bells doing their best to resonate true and on key, followed by the twelve pleasant but monotone bongs.  I loved those twelve matching individual notes, conveying the spirit of all-is-well-within-our-corner-of-the-world.  I would stand outside, suffering through the grating prelude, and count each of those twelve strikes.  Everything was as it should be.  It was lunch time.

scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day three:  talk about a memory triggered by a particular song

No comments: