A Little Mental Archaeology

tomorrow, the twenty first of december, is both the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year.

on wednesday one very special rtb is making her move from the glorious city of boston to the dusty one of dallas.

as my girlfriend is about to undergo a transition similar to the one that i recently experienced, leaving boston, i have been taking healthy chunks out of the last few days to reflect on our time spent together, in boston, our first shared home.

i call this little experiment mental archaeology, as time seems to have dusted over many many memories. the more focused my efforts to recollect become, the more i feel that i am truly dusting away the fossilized edges of bone, the memories, and the harder i work at it the more distinct the figure becomes, and i get a more wholistic image of rtb's and my three or so years spent together in boston.

its easy to go to the museum and look up at the framed image of the time that we first met, september first, two-thousand one. i was on my way back to the dorm, one-thirty-two / thirty-four beacon street, afte a day of work, socializing with the homeless, and my first instance of trash prospecting on beacon hill. she had just returned from dinner with her parents, and was sitting on the stoop. we met, and talked for the first time, and i guess the rest is history, hence the museum. also in the museum you can see the keystone moments and observe their progression from our newly formed friendship, as we became closer, molding each other in mind and action, and eventually when we sealed the deal with a kiss. these images and moments leave few questions for the bphhrtb historian.

in these last few days, all in the field have been seeking out those smaller moments that dont necessarily indicate paradigm shifts, rather those instancese that colored our development and tempered the world we share. of course there is the risk, in looking back, amongst the dust, that we might not brush carefully enough, and end up revealing, our own version of the recently discovered "indonesian hobbit." in otherwords, when eagerly searching your memory it is very easy to piece together disperate memories, or even imaginations, into very pleasant rememberances that ultimately never happened. this caution being noted, let us take a look down the the less traveled and the more nuanced halls in our museum, displaying some of the more recent finds.

in december, 2001, i was working at borders on friday night, taking advantage of the forty percent holiday discount i endulged in two jazz box sets. charles mingus, passions of a man, and and keith jarrett's complete blue note recordings from 1994. upon arriving back in the dorm i gathered up cdr and rtb and perhaps djg (i dont recall about the later). we crammed ourselves into my dorm room, and we drank wine and listened to jazz, in awe and a little intoxicated. i remember the way r sat on my bed, small hands around mug, quiet in posture and dumbfounded in eye that her perceptions of college might actually have come true.

saturday, august thirty first, 2002, the day that r returned to boston, from a summer spent in dallas, to live at the palatial thirty-five revere. picked up at the airport by cdr, she turned up, in blue dress, standing behing a large bag, and holding close to her bossom a fresh and eager rosemary plant as if it were her heart.

july, 2003. r and i spent the early portion of the week camping on bumpkin island. it was a hot, sandy, hungry event filled with great big breaths of fresh air and sighs of life. i recall, coming home, weighed down by heavy gear and bags of shells, to an empty, sunny apartment. the silence did penetrate and settled us into a stillness. this was a moment of quiet contentment comfortable in the afternoon light as the dust particles that reflected and floated as we sat on the couch.

finally, the freshest of these uncoverings, dated may, 2004. it is the morning of commencement. djg, dl, an, and myself where robed up and ready to hit the streets of boston in finest graduation style. the only one among us who was not to graduate that day was r. i remember her being dressed softly, and bowed, like tiny package too precious to open. as the four graduates perpared to leave thirty-five i can distinctly see, in the way r held her head, the way she let the sun hit her face, her brown eyes, that she was internally anxious. excited that her some of her closest emerson friends were about to graduate, but that excitement was brushed with the tenderest of sorrows, for she could not be one of us.

this last memory is the most relevant, today, as r has finished college, and she did it all on her own. i couldnt be prouder.

anyway, these are just a few of the discoveries i have made playing archaeologist in my own head-yard. there are certainly many more, mostly fragments of berries at breakfast, or tucked in to read before sleep, or other isolated glances and postures, and still more too delicate to share with ya'll.

as the current of life continues to change our situations and locations, some new memories will certainly be uncovered, as others are created, while others get barried again. the sport of mental archaeology never ends, though some days the body and spirit are too exhausted for such undertakings, and in other times the stillness of life makes them more than necessary.


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