We could not know what goes on in the minds of other people. It was a terrible blessing, but oh, so lovely a curse. For years I have wanted to know the inner workings of your mind—what were you thinking when we sat together? Words did not do much for us writers. We did not trust words. We warped them and played with them and said things that weren’t true, only inspired. We took little trinkets from our days, odds and ends of time, and like someone who dives into the dumpster to find things that still work, we, too, salvaged moments. Moments untainted still: the kiss, but not the heartbreak that followed; the pouring rain, but not what it washed away; the coffee, but not how scalding it was when had alone. Words were not to be trusted, and that was all we had. I wonder what you thought of me when I last saw you in the city where nothing ever happens. It was years ago. I don’t remember what I thought of myself either. I reckon you would not remember it, too, if you remembered me at all.
But if I had to imagine, if it were a blessing to not have known, then I hope you thought of me with kindness still, and if kindness is too big an ask, then I hope you remember nothing. It was better to be forgotten than be hated, loathed; to not have been was better than to have been badly. It was how I wanted these words to age as well. All my words, my confessions were better off forgotten than remembered for being terrible. I reckon I want the same to be true for this life I lead. I wish no one remembers my name, my face, my mannerisms or what I stood for, and if they do, I hope they do it kindly, like how we remember the summer afternoon from our childhood. It’s no particular memory, not a single afternoon but an amalgamated blur of it all—of happiness, of levity, of warmth, of respite, of popsicles, of lemonade, of laughter. I hope they remember the little I did to try to make a difference. Perhaps, a small gesture that stuck in their memory through the years. I hope you do the same. I would not know. We seldom know how we affect the lives of others. We could not know what we did, only how we did it.
We could not know what goes on in the minds of other people after all.