‘Memory is hunger,’ Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast. I read this line this morning in Ellena Savage’s book, Blueberries, while the wind moved through the tree leaves and into my apartment. I think I am hungry.
Recently, I have found myself messaging old friends. Friends who, by the natural flow of life and things, I have not been in contact with for years. Friends who I have loved and still love but live far away and maybe have been growing in my thoughts because I have an increasing amount of “free” time on my hands now. Specifically: friends who I felt closest to during my first breaths of adulthood. Who picked me up late at night to drive on empty freeways, the orange glow of tunnels and streetlights casting a shadow on our memories. Who I sneaked into our old high school with, playing songs on a piano to an empty auditorium. Who I wrote poems for. Who saw the ocean and did not think twice. And I, chasing after them; feet sinking into the white sand that would later find itself loosened into the cracks of a car seat.
I know what I am hungry for: youth. Or maybe just: the feeling of youth. Because at twenty-four, youth is still with me, breathing through me. (Alive). But there are certain things I know I cannot feel again. You cannot build a memory (feeling) back to life. Things are different now. I know too much of what happens after. What I don’t know is how to feed the hunger. I write and read and digest and pick flowers and try to pinpoint the kind of blue the sky is. And still, I am hungry. My sweat is soaking in desperation. My pores unable to shrink. Where is the girl? (Show me).
Years ago, I wrote: how do the days keep passing? the seasons? time? do they know how tired i am? why are nights always the worst? why does nostalgia fit in my mouth so perfectly? where is everyone i love now? what do i want? are my dreams mine? or do i just say them out loud because it’s better than silence? do i follow or start over? how much time will it take? will it be like this forever? what happens next? will i recognise it when it comes?
Show me the girl. I want to ask her again.
The sun comes out.
I wonder how it will end.