At different points, I have moved in and out of time. I used to collect small, cheap travel clocks in bright colors. There was something comforting about how quickly they would wear out, how easily they would break, how rapidly they’d break down. Time against itself.
In the mornings, there would be bells. Bells throughout the day. The bells increased. In primary school, the bell ringer—was it always a boy—would head to the designated place and ring the bell. In our year, it was the boy on whom I would say now I had a crush. Or was I simply fascinated. He was charismatic. And, once, he placed his hand on my knee. Decades later, I remember the sensation. Not what he felt like, but what I felt.
There was another boy. And I loved how he smelled. Of something safe. We were intimate. People whispered. It was unseemly. But he was safe. And I felt safe. Briefly. Ever so briefly. Even now, I remember him.
Memories can feel like appointments, marking what felt like something at a certain time, except when memory fails and time feels like it never happened. The psychoanalyst taught us that fantasy can be as powerful in shaping psychic life. What we remember. Did it happen like this? Did it happen like that? And was I that person?
Time. Event. Memory. Something clusters.