A whiff of his perfume in the elevator, reminding me that he was in there not too long ago. Reminding me that I hadn’t forgotten. I pursed my lips together and berated myself for being tardy, with time, with memories, with letting go. But the mind also went in to overdrive, conjuring up delicious possibilities in what could have been some unexpected time together.
I willed the elevator to move a little slower so I could revel in his scented presence. And I waited for the delicate torture of memories. But none come. Instead, I was bombarded with a bunch of facts; the color of his sweatshirt, the mud on his shoes, the chewed fingernails. I remembered his touch but not the light-headedness or excitement that usually accompanied it.
I tried to convince myself that I hadn’t really forgotten him, that I hadn’t forgotten us. That I had just buried him in some corner of my heart and tightly shut a lid over the broken memories and unfinished conversations. But now, enveloped by that heady fragrance, I was unable to locate that carefully-hidden compartment. It’s like someone had scooped it out of my system, leaving few traces behind.
I had expected the fragrance to overwhelm me but I found myself smiling. I was still irked at myself for having missed him. But I was more irked at the chance of a missed conversation. Unbeknownst to me, the memories had long been laid to rest. I had forgotten that I had forgotten.
In that whiff of perfume, I had found my closure.