I remember every face I meet and the name it owns. This seems like an interesting addition to a résumé and a useful parlor trick to use once the party is over. It should be but not when growing up and making mistakes in a city that fits in between a couple of hills we collectively decided to call mountains. The bodies of the faces saunter and snicker and carry on, passing by like it means something to me. It does. I remember every moment. The emotions they left with me. The secrets they told me. Annoyance makes my pulse radiate heat, just like how pavement feels on a southern day in July. Even though I regularly cut ties without much motive, I still reserve the right to selfishly froth in my own ill wishes. It’s only when they pass and I remain unnoticed am I shaken back into my senses. I realize it’s likely they’ve gone another day without thinking of me. It’s vexing to be overlooked. It festers and grows, turning real individuals into memories and ideas as flat as newspaper. No one has ever ignored me. They’ve just been walking past me, engrossed in their own valid thoughts.
I remember saying, rather exclaiming, how blue the sky was that day. It was one of those skies with light, almost clear edges and a deep, worn denim center. If you could close off the fringe of your peripheral vision, you could fall up and in. Not a single cloud could catch you as you fell into the absolute blue, the heavens, the end and the beginning.
Just as I felt a tug around my core from above, I was snatched back by something mocking. A laugh. “The sky is always blue,” she said. I laughed and stammered and agreed and pushed it down deep. This was the beginning and the end, the beginning of the end. I felt that familiar tug away. This was when I knew, for certain, that we were different.