Friday, March 25, 2011


Last night before sleep I remembered a room. Somewhere in Tokyo. Something to do with a ticket. An Air Canada office, overlooking a lake. Or a body of water at least, of that I am sure. Everything else, vague. Over a decade ago, I suppose. A minor change needed to be made so that I might be able to fly. I’m picturing green. The lobby’s colours. A deep, comforting green. Not the shade that a doctor would wear while excising some cancer. More the tone of some seaweed on an ocean’s wide floor. Exotic, almost. I remember sitting there. I remember that. Ticket in hand. Everything else, a blur. This memory saddened me a great deal, the same way in which one suddenly becomes full of odd grief while reading in passing of a stranger’s quick death. If I can remember its vibe, but not the details in full, then what good does that do me, and to what end is its aim?

At one point in my past that small room had some weight. Decisions would have to be made in between those four sheltered walls; the keys of a computer would go clickety-clack, with such rapid red force, that receptionist’s nails striking letters as a mason hits stone. My life had to be guided in that room. If that air ticket could not have been altered at all by her touch, the set paths of my course would have had to be broken. I don’t remember feeling nervous, but I do recall a sense of proportion being weighted, almost on scales. Is there anything worse than the slow pace of bureaucracy? Have a seat. We’ll be right with you. Won’t take a moment. Read a magazine, if you like. All of these dull remarks in an English that slants. The silence, full. Is there any more noise to be found than in a room lacking sound? The hum of the lights; the steps in the hall just outside the closed door; the soft snap of some gum in an overhead office. All of this, blaring. Everything had consequence.

Last night before sleep I remembered that room. Its function, perfunctory. All of that green, though. Soothing. Even if my purpose was bland, that room had some juice. I could have lived in that room, was what I thought. Not for a year, or even a month, but for a week, why not. Something to do with that dark green. Life so often evolves into gray’s oldest chum. A green such as that could lift me right up.

Drifting off, I realized that it didn’t bother me – that I couldn’t remember precisely my purpose for waiting. So what if the memory’s details had died? How many days as a whole have decided to exit my brain? This one over a decade ago has stayed in some nook of my head that is rarely swept clean. It could be one of those random days of my life that recurs like a fever one gets every year as each spring starts its swoon. Dear reader, do you, too, have memories like this one that linger half-empty? Do you wish you could crawl into their space and remember that self? Perhaps reading this post will prepare you for more – your old locker’s three digit combo, or the smell of the breath of the first person you kissed, or the sweet plume of winter on a crsip Christmas Eve from a stroll in your youth when a sung carol was king. (Do you sometimes wonder about those lips of that soul who you kissed long ago, that first brush with another? Hoping that she or he thinks of you too, during random moments at work, when the meeting drones on?) Memories emerge, don’t they. Ten years from now, or twenty, or if I’m lucky, fifty, I might still recollect that same random green room. It could act as my good-luck charm for sleep, my go-to embrace.