Remember

Part One

Last night we were sitting together, cuddling on the couch. You said, "I can't even remember how this began." And after I had thought for a while I realized that I couldn't either. It stunned me that neither of us had ever pushed back the drug induced haze to realise how important our memories would become.

So after you left I stayed up for hours, trying to put it all together. Once I was sure I had pieced together everything I could remember I sat down at the computer and started typing this up. But no matter how clearly I believed I recalled at first, once I started writing I found there were still blank spaces all over our story.

Do you remember the first time we met? I can't. No matter how many times I flip through the frozen images of my memories I cannot find the first time I saw your beautiful face. Maybe it was at a party and I was too drunk and stoned to care. Maybe I vaguely knew you for months before I ever noticed you.

The first clear flash I have is you sitting across from me in the circle at someone's house. By then I knew your name, and it was no surprise for you to be there. There were quite a few people in the room, but my eyes kept returning to you. I don't think you noticed. You were staring into space over my shoulder, only coming back to yourself to light the glass pipe and pass it on to the next person.

The same scenario must have happened many times. Different room; different people; different drugs; same intent to forget. And what a spectacular job we seem to have done.

The first time you ever talked to me you crawled across the sticky floor on your hands and knees to where I was sitting cross-legged in the corner. I had my head back, resting on the wall, and was feeling as if the room was slowly closing in on me.

You put your hands on my knees - they were so hot I felt them through my pants - and you leaned your face in close to mine. Do you know what you said then? I'm not sure exactly, I think it was, "Your eyes are so dazzling. The pupils are devouring the colour." Your warm breath hit my face as you spoke in your slow, confused way I would come to know.

I was trapped in that corner by your body. I couldn't breath. Panic started to bubble inside my stomach. My hands found your shoulders purely by instinct and I shoved you backwards so that you fell to the ground in front of me. I got up, my legs shaky and darted from that room.

It was autumn. The trees lined the street I ran down, the leaves were bright red on the branches. I remember looking up into the canopy and feeling like I was falling. Back then I often felt like that and I was always looking for ways to keep from hitting the ground.

What happened to you that night? I never thought to wonder at the time, and later I had other things to contemplate. Looking back I can tell you that I will never forget the picture I have of you in my memory, sprawled out on the floor, looking to me as if everything revolved around the room that held you in it.

The next event I remember with any clarity is the time my parents went away for the weekend. I - or rather my friends - decided that it was the perfect opportunity to have a party. At least fifty people showed up that Saturday night. The whole house was full of bodies, drinks were spilt and every room seemed thick with smoke.

I have never been comfortable in crowds, but something about having them in my space made it worse. To me it seemed as if the dull beat of the music punctuated by shouts was chiselling into my brain.

As always I escaped when I started to lose control. I pushed my way through the crowd and out my front door. I stood on my lawn, my panting breaths misting in front of my eyes as I focused on the windows of the house opposite to mine. You must have followed me, because you were there, behind me on the walkway, watching me watch the lights.

Somehow, I can't figure out how, we ended up laying down on the damp grass side by side. You were mesmerized by the stars and I marvelled at how the city lights cast an orange glow on the sky.

You said, "There's got to be life in the universe. I wonder if they're as lonely as we are."

I was confused why I did it then and still am, but for whatever reason I reached out to your hand, feeling the prickle of the blades of grass, and gave what I hoped was a comforting squeeze. You returned it.

Neither of us moved and we stayed there together, holding hands until we were both shivering with the cold. Then we got up and went back inside.

The party had started to wind down a little and you made everyone who was still there leave. I was so grateful to you, but I never managed to say "Thank you." I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't been there.

I was lying on the couch, still cold from the outside, burnt out from too much pot and feeling scared in my home that had suddenly become alien to me. You grabbed a blanket from a bed upstairs and covered me with it. What I really wanted was for you to wrap me in your arms and hold me until I could sleep, but I was too frightened to tell you at the time, so you never knew.

I don't know how long you stayed, but when I woke up the house was empty. I spent the next day with the worst hangover I have ever experienced, desperately trying to clean up the house before my parents came home. I thought of you to. A lot.

I found a piece of gold foil on the kitchen counter, on the back in green pen was a messily scrawled phone number. There was no name on it or anything. I put it to the side, thinking - hoping, really - that it was yours. I must have lost it; I haven't been able to think were I put it. Did you leave it for me?

I didn't see you again for a few months. I started to wonder if you were someone I made up to help me when I needed it the most. I thought you were never coming back. It seemed that there was no one to ask about you. I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing, except do as I always did: stay as high as possible.

I saw you again at some punk show at the downtown community centre. I don't know why I was there because I hate crowds. You were talking to the lead singer of the band, while the other band members set up. He seemed to know you really well and to be fascinated by what you were saying. I turned around, wanting to go home.

As had always been (and still usually is) the case you snuck up on me. You grabbed my elbow to stop me. I jerked myself free, whirling around to see who was touching me. You smiled at me when our eyes met and raised your hand a cute little wave. You said something but I couldn't hear it. The band must have started playing by then because I remember the high screech of an electric guitar to the movement of your lips.

You took my hands and pulled me to the side of the room. There was a small, empty stage cut into the wall. You climbed up first, and then watched me follow you. The walls muffled the music a bit, and the darkness of the stage created the feeling of being in our own little world.

You held your fist in front of us, as if you were asking a child to guess what was inside. You flattened your hand to reveal the two pills sitting on your palm. I think it was E because I remember thinking that I felt in ecstasy with you even before I took it.

Looking back we were opposites when it came to drugs. I would take anything anyone gave me if I thought it would make me happy. You were more deliberate (more responsible?) in your choices. I always seemed to be freaking out in every situation we were together, and you were always calm, enthralled with your own high.

My memory after that feels as though I watched everything through a thick mist. It's hard to distinguish what was happening. I danced with you didn't I? The ecstasy had taken over and I found myself in love with everything... I found myself in love with you.

We danced. I hung off you as we swayed together to the hyper punk songs. We never could get the beat but it still felt right. A few people yelled at us (it was us dancing together, not the way that we were dancing, that caught their attention), but we were too entranced by each other to care. You had enchanted me - with your pills, with your smiles - and I couldn't have recovered, not even if I had tried.

(to be continued...)