I often bemoan the difficulties with my memory. Words, in either English or French, are almost there but disappear with the wisp of a powder puff. In their stead, I will pounce upon useless details that serve nothing. At times I am fearful for the future, wondering if there will be nothing left but dust. And so I document, in thoughts and pictures, events that I would be better off simply enjoying, in order to safe guard them somewhere. An external hard drive of my life.
And yet there can be certain upsides to my state. I keep my favorite novels on the shelf, knowing that I will be able to reread them anew with only the vaguest recollections, touch points of a ship bobbing on the tide. I experienced a similar moment of "oh, yes" today at the market, watching a young woman tuck a paper-wrapped bouquet of peonies under her arm. "I love peonies," I remembered.
And so I walked up past the baskets of strawberries to the flower stand for the first time in months, since autumn, having let orchid statues fill the vases past their winter due date. The seller smiled with surprise to see me. "It has been a long time." It has, I nodded. He knows that I prefer lighter colors, white whenever possible, yet steered me towards coral tight-fisted blooms. As I was preparing to pay, he turned as he often does to grab their paler cousins and wrapped them too, a gift. "They won't last past the weekend anyway." I gave my sincere thanks, for that is what they were and wished him a Bon Weekend.
Arriving back at the apartment, I stacked my red peppers and tomatoes, leaving the flowers for last, until even after having wiped down the kitchen. I reached up into the glass cabinet to bring down the right vases and trimmed the stems. Lowering the bouquets into water, I arranged them with tiny pushes, a balancing act and was content with my work. Content with the soft feathering petals and light smoke of fragrance. Content in recognition, the pleasure of forgetting.