When was the last time I felt love? It was a difficult question to answer. The correct answer is, of course, this morning when I woke up and realised how anyone can have a heavy day or two. The less selfish answer was last night when I had dinner with family. Another response was when a friend listened to me talk about things troubling me over food and drinks. The further I go back in recent memory, the more I would stumble upon love, love, love. Yet, if you ask me about the last time I felt it, I would not think about it. If I did, I would know it was a second ago when a kid waved to me from the window right across from mine. However, since I would not think about it, I would only tell you it has been long. Often, our stories were marked by the days gone, the absences, the love lost. People lived in the daze of memory.
If you were observant enough, you would find a score of people looking wistfully at a table in a cafe. It was not an uncommon sight for someone to play with the band on their fingers, eyes fixated on nothing but the floor. The urge to change a song that came on suddenly was not uncommon, or pausing to buy a chocolate bar before you left the grocery store through nothing but muscle memory, a remnant of what used to be ordinary days. Tea preferences were often a shrine to someone we knew once. When being served coffee, they would tell you, just one sugar, please, recalling someone saying the exact same thing over and over again. The echo of the request dictating their days. Our mannerisms were rarely our own. Love—the loss of it—was hidden in the every day.
And why do things differently? I wonder. I carry every person I have loved in every living day of my life. More of me comes from them than I can keep track of. It was going to be the way it was, whether I liked it or not. Other people have a tendency to leave little bits of themselves in your life, like an insurance policy, as if they were saying: I don’t intend on leaving, but if at some point I have to, do remember me, and I will remember you, too. I hold nothing but love for everyone I have loved before. If anything went any differently, I would not be sitting here writing these words.