The Bench

For a forgetful guy I seem to remember quite vividly. I remember a bench, wooden with an iron base and iron handles. I remember sitting on one, and beside me cried the female I liked most. She cried and cried, and cried, and cried, and I, the idiot, did not know what to do. I remember looking at her, amazed that someone could cry so much, and horrified that I could cause so much pain. I remember that her eyes were even smaller than usual, her face a little more pale. She had never looked more disheveled and more vulnerable. She had never looked more beautiful.

Fast-forward to today, and I’m writing this while sitting on another bench, one not very different from that old bench on a rock. There’s no one crying now, but beside me is her ghost, with the ghosts of all the others. Through the years the benches have been different, stone instead of wood, the front seats of a car, the backseat too, the corner of a bed, a variety of couches, and a rooftop ledge. And while the places and faces have changed, and many things unsaid now lost and forgotten, still the memory of her pain remains.