August, 1994. This is my best dress.
I pinned the swatch and the note underneath the skirting of my mother’s couch and pushed it back to where it was. Ideally, a shoebox would have been more useful, but she didn’t see the way she’d stare at me or how her words would fall at mid sentence and when I told her one night as she braided my hair, how Ela forgot that I didn’t eat bacon, she hissed.
The incompatibility of our ideas were to remain muted for reasons I couldn’t understand. All I knew was that Ela was forgetting the time my bus arrived after school and missing chords on our piano lessons. ”She’s old,” is all I ever heard my mother say, and so I began making notes; saving little trifles that meant something to me and hiding them somewhere I might chance upon later in life.
January, 1995. This is the colour of my hair.
June, 1996. This is the picture from tonight’s recital. I was Odette.
December, 1997. This is my mood ring. It no longer fits.
By the Spring of 1999, my grandmother no longer knew how to play. She didn’t know where she lived. She didn’t know if it was cold. She didn’t know my name. I remember how my mother would go thru a timeline of our photos with her as if they were flash cards and I remember her quiet sobs in the kitchen and how she’d smooth her skirt and afford us a makeshift smile.
Time is a thief that cannot be caught, but I figured that if I hid from it parts of my life, then I’d have saved an entire lifetime of myself to learn again. Apart from the pleasure it gives me to write, I write to leave a carbon copy of my innermost thoughts, of my experiences and of everything in between. These words are photographs, you see. They will never age. Never fade. Never curl along the edges. And so like this, I have found a way to defeat time.