There were four apples in the fruit bowl on my kitchen shelf, leftover from the dozen my father brought me a while ago. I believe it was a month, but I couldn’t be too sure. As particular as I was about my days, I struggled with this specific kind of remembering. I remembered differently.
I remembered rolling the apples from the bag and into the bowl. I recalled the series of thuds and how they quickly made space for one another. I remembered the reflection of the bowl on the shelf—a still life masterpiece; I remembered the blurry painting. But for the life of me, if someone asked me when the apples arrived, I would not know. My focus was always on the moment’s aesthetic. I had always been on the outside of my life, looking in.
It was paramount for me to note important details and dates down, else I would miss appointments, forget birthdays and stay befuddled for what I was to do in a day. It was shocking how I could keep a worldly life afloat better than most people. I rarely missed appointments, usually ran on time, and managed to get a significant amount of work done every day. Perhaps, my strength was my natural indisposition towards it all. I never took my ability to forget for granted, so I wrote most things down.
In any case, out of the original dozen, I ate most, some rot early which was natural. These four, however, stood the test of time. When something is a part of the picture for long, we stop seeing it. Even the brightest red apples merged into the obsidian background of a shelf if not looked at and appreciated daily. The bowl looked like it belonged on my orderly shelf long enough for me to forget I was to pick the leftover apples up and eat them.
I noticed one of them started rotting today. It broke my heart and gave me a sense of regret I cannot comprehend yet. On the one hand, I know the apples were there, and apples rot when not consumed in time. On the other, they looked like such an incredible part of the picture together; I barely noticed them. Now that I see them again, it reminds me of how my forgetfulness wasted delicious fruit.
It makes me wonder if this was why most things rot—not to die, no, but perhaps, to be seen once again.