It’s funny how synapses work–the way our mind draws connections to memories; how the olfactory triggers the me even my mind cannot remember, the way the back of my tongue has become a gustatory repository for everything that once tasted of you and everything tasted with you.
10. 24. 305. My mind doesn’t understand numbers. It doesn’t create the relations that most people make. I can no longer recite timetables, carry things properly in my mind or subtract as quickly as everyone else. I can’t visualize the ones, the twos or the threes or the fours. And that’s always been where I overcompensated–why my words are my counting, why my entirety is only a literary compilation. Why I can recite the theorems, but cannot reconstruct the formulas.
Ten. Twenty-four. Three, zero, five. I see numbers and my mind draws people, places. I don’t know my months in conjunction with numbers because somehow in the library of my mind my heart became my archivist.
I can’t erase the synapses that already exist between ten and make it October because it belongs to someone who isn’t me.
I can’t remember November as eleven because it belongs to the Thanksgiving you died.
I can remember twelve because it’s December: Christmas and cold. We’re California bay-born and the only snow-capped mountains are the ones you’ve built for me to climb through to find a mother who loved me.
I believe that people will show you who they actually are with their actions, and tell you who they wish they were with their words.
I tell people that I am awful at math. I tell people that I have a terrible memory.
The truth is that I’m good with numbers. With numbers in relation to people. With numbers in relation to the two-thirteen I was born. With the two-fourteen that broke my heart. I’m good with the numbers that matter.
The truth is that I’m good with remembering. Remembering over and over. Remembering the eleven-twenty-three you died. Remembering the six you were born; raised, and gone. I’m good with remembering the impact; not the details.
It’s July, now. A year since 335.
I see your name and for the first time all my memory can do is repeat a number. Twenty-one hundred.
I’m good with the numbers that matter. I’m good with remembering the impact–but this time I’ll remember the details, too.