I remember the first day I found you, sitting there as I walked by on some display for the world to view. I remember how you glistened and shined a new layer of reality into my eyes with all your splendor. You called to me while others passed you by, and I knew I had to make you mine.
I remember those days in waiting, pacing the floor each night beaming with glee and anticipation. You filled my every thought. Everywhere I went you were there behind the corner, peeking out at me, or in the trees playing with the birds. You were my morning walk out in the grass of my back yard, and my snuggly blanket just before I went to sleep. You etched your image into the back of my eyelids, taunting me every time I blinked. Even my waking hours weren’t enough for you, you had to haunt me in my sleep, filling my mind with ticklish dreams of delight at the very thought of having you in my hands. You where my comfort in those dark times when the sun seemed dull even though my eyes went blind staring into its light. You were my everything, from the air in my lungs to the steps in my stride; I loved you like no two creatures have ever loved.
I remember that day when I came down those steps and saw you there alone on the floor, wrapped in bright paper and packed in a little box. My mind went numb as I pealed back the parcel, gaining speed till I had ripped you apart. I tore back the flaps to your cardboard prison like a bear-boned beast gnawing at his first meal in a decade. How my eyes must have shined when I first touched you with my own hands. I lifted you like an infant made of glass taking you to my chest as though you could feel my warmth. You were mine.
I remember those first days, how I coddled you. My eyes were weary and wild from the lack of sleep and my stomach howled like a banshee from the meals I’d missed from just staring at you. You were the best thing this crippled ugly world ever conjured and my heart swelled to the cusp just knowing you were mine. I polished you to a fresh new shine every time I touched you, worshiping you like some deity on my shelf. I hid you in my private place, where no one went but me. Keeping you in your box atop a mantle like an antique clock kept in mint. I wouldn’t dare let the world even give you a glance. You were precious beyond measure.
I remember those first few weeks, how I learned from my mistakes. We had our frowns and our laughs. I hid my tears behind my smile, knowing with all degrees of ignorance and love that you were perfect…I was flawed. I kept to my routine, loving you all the more with each success and waving off each failure as a fluke. We were powerful together, all the world was ours to be taken and that was what we intended to do.
I remember those second few weeks, how things began to change. That luster that brimmed from your every pore slowly began to settle. I checked you over and over and found you blemish free, but your glisten was gone. I smiled shaking my head, my eyes were tired. I was so sure. We huddled together in the cold nights, you laughed me to sleep. I still dreamt about you, from time to time, but your image was so much less clear. I saw others a few times, but kept my eyes open for you. We’d wave hello and good-bye promising one another the next dance, but the sun’s rays always found a way to rip you from me, just before our song.
I remember those first few months when I forgot to put you away. I’d leave you out at night once in a while, letting your mantle hang empty. That night you got your first scratch I screamed and hollered like a fool, pointing fingers in ever face but my own. It wasn’t long before I came to like that scratch, the character it showed in your face. I screamed a little less when the second came around, and hardly shuttered at all by the third. It wasn’t long before I lost count.
I remember those next few months when your surface was scraped and dull, a bleak shadow of what you used to be. I’d pull you out every once in a while, to smile and laugh before setting you back in your place at the call of another friend, whispering some word of when I’d return. A word I planned to keep, eventually.
I don’t remember those next few months…I don’t remember them much at all, like some faded days of tears and laughter, some mix of meanings and songs I’ll probably never understand or recall the rhythm to.
But, I do remember those last few years, when I found you, beneath some pile of old soot and dust underneath my bed while I sought something I lost. I remember how my heart leaped into my chest seeing you again after all that time, how old and worn you’d become. I remember dusting you off with my hand and seeing my reflection in what remained of your luster. I saw myself, and smiled with nostalgia on my lips.
I only wish I hadn’t placed you back where I found you, beneath that pile of broken dreams.