Time and memories

I was sitting at a coffee shop waiting for a friend. As is my habit, I settled down and took a look around. I immediately noticed a couple sitting in the extreme corner to my right. The guy was clearly uncomfortable because the girl was sobbing. He seemed torn between wanting to reassure her and worry that people would hold him responsible for her tears. All of a sudden, while the guy seemed to be earnestly saying something, she threw the mug across the floor and ran out of the cafe. He appeared stunned. No, he did not get up and run after her. He placed his head in his hands and stayed that way while the waiter went across and cleared the mess. Soon enough, he got up and left for the exit without meeting anyone’s eye. Since this is real life and I’m not involved in their story … it will have to remain incomplete.

It still comes back to me from time to time in different ways … sometimes the boy’s expression, sometimes the girl getting up and flinging the cup across the floor with disappointment writ large on her face, sometimes the turning of several heads as they register the disturbance and look around, sometimes the defeated look on the boy’s face as he walked out the door … sometimes in slow motion and sometimes in sharp cuts.

Isn’t that what happens to our memories too? Over a period of time the interpretation is coloured by how we choose to recall the moment. Our memories are a reflection of how we feel in the moment, our state of mind, our inherent disposition, the need to see things from a jaundiced lens or an ingrained optimism and faith. The images we summon alter in degrees from how the light falls on them, the way the expressions take on meaning and motive. The selective bits we remember or those that we discard are an insight into how we feel about our travel through time and how we see our past.

Time is a healer. It is a concealer. Time is our subjective view of it.

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