memory lane (300)

let’s stroll the park today.

i know, it’s rainy out. get your coat and boots, i’ll find an umbrella. remember we used to take picnics on rainy days and find a building, bribe someone telling us we shouldn’t be there, promise that we’d just sit quietly and have lunch together?

damn expensive for a picnic, you’d joke. smeared on lipstick anyway, caught my hand in yours and pulled me out the door.

oh, they repainted the bench, planted different flowers for once. it doesn’t look right, are you sure we’re in the same place? i don’t like  those sculptures in the middle of the green. there’s some unsettled feeling coming over me now, the kind that comes from having memories overwritten.

yes, you reassure me, it’s the right place.

my grasp on the basket goes slack; it thuds to the ground. this place isn’t right any longer, not what it used to be. the sun bursts over the sky, furthering my sense of strangeness. we only ever came out here when it rained, huddled in plastic coats and gauzy scarves that could hang over a rail to dry.

you swing us around, a quick one-eighty, and point to the tall tower. we’ve always liked going there when it rained, paying a guard and settling into the tallest window we were allowed. it’d be a lazy afternoon, and then we’d finish the evening, drying off in a movie theatre, all dark lighting and warm air-con.

no, i don’t remember that. i think i remember the popcorn, was it a bit salty-sweet? yes, let’s go there tonight. you lean down, scoop up the basket from where it’s matting down the grass, and hook it over your arm.

these are the things you tell me, so i take them for truth.


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