Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Inside an Hour


I closed Radial Symmetry, quieting Katherine's squid, her lime dust, and her tequila, and sharpened my pencil on the bottom of the table, hoping no one with white pants would cross their legs and rub against the marks I'd made.


And thought about some things.


Humiliation.  Well, I should be more specific.  Mild humiliation.  The type that humbles, but does not disgrace.  It is not futile, but clearly better when experienced in small doses.  An emotion that moves an invisible marker forward and helps one grow, in hopes of avoiding future encounters.


Can something taste like youth?  What do you think?  It tasted like youth.  Does it work?


But it was Rachael's comment that stayed with me.  The possibility of our memories wandering.  I imagined them traveling, visiting one mind after another, extending their stays with those they favored most, and returning to us like adult children visiting the first place they called home, their parents blinded by their new facets, focused on the comfort of their original form.


Rachael's Comment
Radial Symmetry by Katherine Larson

19 comments:

  1. Watermelon on a summer's day tastes like my youth. Black forest cake tastes like my youth - my mum always made it for my dad and for my brother on their birthdays. Cod liver oil tastes like my youth. The taste or smell of any of those take me back to the time of under age 10.

    Mild humiliation is like a skin irritant - you know if you just wouldn't scratch at it the sensation would be less severe.

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    1. You have me recalling a cod liver oil phase my parents went through. I know I did not like that taste, but I seem to have blocked out the actual taste. No memory of it. And yes, good advice, Kate. No scratching.

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  2. Mild humiliation is what helps me grow and stay humble. It's a fine line to thread....the memory of my youth is faded, it's my brains way of dealing with expatriation then sometimes I remember and I ache for the familiar for home

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    1. I'm always a little jealous of the people who can visit the home they grew up inside. My family left that home and scattered long ago.

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  3. And this is why I keep coming back for more...

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  4. love the white pants part...

    and that thing about mild humiliation - wow, i´m going to think about that for quite a while...

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    1. I really hope I haven't marked up someone's nice pants. Happy thinking.

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  5. I'm glad I read this - the idea of wandering memories is beautiful.

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  6. The New Yorker podcast of Borges', "Shakespeare's Memory," is an interesting version on the idea of memory's fluidity. I think I'll try and write my own version. Waddaya say we both write one, and then we'll swap? BTW, Borges story is here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/podcasts/fiction

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    1. As for a taste of my youth? Aquanet. No matter how I held my breath, I always sprayed too much and ended up inhaling and tasting it.

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    2. Great podcast, Rachael. I want to listen to it again. Your idea intrigues me, but I know it will have to marinate for a while, along with something else I've just started reading, Água Viva by Clarice Lispector.

      And then sometimes I think I need a break from thinking...

      Aquanet. What a taste. I feel I can even taste the scent. Eek.

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  7. Oh yes, so many things taste like youth. An smell like youth. My youth, that is - like ripe mangoes, and jasmine, and warm, moist air, and monsoons.
    Mild humiliations - I'm sure there are a few of those too, tucked in between the mangoes and monsoons.

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  8. Humiliation - one of those words that one has a physical reaction to. The slightly shrinking feeling, coupled with an odd tingling chill down your spine. But like many things it has it's uses.
    Yes I think something can taste like youth - or at the very least taste like the memories of youth.
    And I'm fascinated and quite taken with Rachel's idea of memories wandering...what an intriguing and utterly thought provoking idea!

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    1. Wishing you zero humiliation, fun memories of youth, and good thoughts today, Annie.

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  9. This was timely, since my mind is engrossed in youth's humiliation lately. I'm not sure why: perhaps I've been chinking away at my experience, and now I've come to that wall, because humiliation for me seems to all be stored up in one massive chunk. But even now, I don't remember any more like it happened. I like the thought of wandering memories. I think possibly there is the human element behind all of our memories that is the same, and we simply drape different stories over it.

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    1. Interesting thought, Danielle, this draping of stories. I'll be thinking about this for a while.

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