Five Small Memories

It’s 10pm and pretty much all I want to do is curl into bed and fall asleep with my head resting on Alley’s chest. “Refrigerator magnet,” you called it, offering up the adorable description one day when we were all talking about different spooning and cuddling positions. Like your partner is the refrigerator and your head is the tiny little magnet resting on it, moving ever so slightly as she breaths, in and out, in and out, in and out, you explained. Over and over forever. It’s weird that you haven’t talked to me in so many days. Knowing someone so well and then not knowing them at all and then wondering if you ever knew them is weird. I guess I wrote about this last week.


Memory #1 (photo by Vanessa Friedman, film 2015)

Anyway the point is I wish I was in bed already, refrigerator magnet spooning sleeping resting etc. But I haven’t written a blog post yet today, and it’s Wednesday, and I’m not quite willing to let myself down on this “write a blog post every single Wednesday no matter what just do it just write some words down they don’t have to be perfect they just have to exist okay” thing just yet. I was on deadline today for a story that falls outside my comfort zone – it is not a personal essay, it is well researched, I interviewed more than one person, it took a lot of time and energy to put together – and it ended up being more than 2,000 words long and so I’ve already used up a lot of words today. I’m tired and going to bed would be nice. But this is nice too.

I titled this post “five small memories” right away, as soon as the page loaded and I could type a title, and I thought that would be easy. Snippets. Flashes. I’m so good at rambling on and on about myself but I want to cultivate other sides of my writing also, strengthen the muscles that describe characters and narrate plots and carve out settings and and and. One thing at a time. My first paragraph already feels sort of like a small memory. Do emotional scars ever go away?

Four more.

The beach where you cried while telling me you didn’t know if your self existed anymore, what if you’d sacrificed all the parts of you to follow one big dream, what if that one big dream was too big, what happened to all the little pieces. We are all made up of so many little pieces and being a grown up so often means crushing most of them into fine dust, wiping it off to the side or discarding it on the far side of your porch, saving it to do something special when you’ve got the time. Maybe this metaphor doesn’t make sense. I just mean that you are so big, and you are made of stardust, and your big dream is so special and important and you will always be yourself and if you ever lose her I will come find you and sprinkle stardust in your hair and remind you that I love you and you are so much more than just one thing. So much more.


Memory #2 (photo by Vanessa Friedman, film 2015)

Why are high school cafeterias such cliches? It’s embarrassing that the one I think of is probably a carbon copy of the one every other kid who grew up in suburbia in the early 2000s thinks of when we think about lunch in high school. As soon as I realized I could, I brought my lunch into the photo room and ate there instead, holding court with the other artsy weirdos, thoroughly enjoying myself except when I was miserable, and even sometimes then. I wore so much black eyeliner and had that black skirt with the white polka dots that I wore almost constantly and there was that one day I dressed up like a fairy and wore wings to math class. I hated math class so much.


Memory #3 (photo by Vanessa Friedman, film 2015)

You’re not supposed to drink any alcohol before going ice skating at Bryant Park and you’re not supposed to take any photos once you’re on the ice rink but we did both of those things when we celebrated my 18th birthday there in 2006 and I don’t regret any of it. I wonder why losing some friendships hurt so much more than others. I’ve been obsessing and fixating over the art of losing friendships, incase you haven’t noticed. I miss you in a vague and random way – I rarely think of things that remind me of you, and I don’t obsessively check your Facebook page. I try to remember what it felt like right when it happened – almost eight years ago – but it’s hard to put myself back there. I am a different person now. I thought I was straight then, and my hair wasn’t wavy.

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Memory #4 (photo by Vanessa Friedman, film 2014)

Earlier today, as I was feeding G his bottle before he went down for his nap, he extended one tiny arm up toward my face and with his little fingers grasped onto a chunk of hair that had fallen loose from my ponytail near the nape of my neck. He has gotten so good at pinching and grabbing, he can hold his bottle on his own now (mostly) and he happily feeds himself bits of avocado, cut up golden beets, sliced banana, but I did not realize how strong he is, so when he yanked that hair toward him, stopping his slurping to giggle delightedly over his new trick, I winced in real pain, shocked at what a tiny baby is capable of, at how a body reacts, at the newness of this entire world before his eyes. Spending time with babies is good for that reminder. Every day they experience so many brand new things. Every single day they discover the whole world.


Memory #5 (photo by Vanessa Friedman, film 2015)

2 thoughts on “Five Small Memories

    • Vanessa says:

      Jenny — feel free! I’m so glad you liked it…I may keep it up as a series, it yielded surprising results from my brain and was super enjoyable to write. I’d be interested to read yours. Thanks for your continued unconditional support of this little blogging venture of mine…positive feedback makes it so much easier to stay motivated and into it.

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