On Always Remembering

I tell him I am so happy for you

I tell him I am so proud you've done it.

I send him warmth and prosperity.

I say I am sending him decades and decades.

I end myself with much love always.

I call him my friend.

I sign off xo.

He writes to me thanks a lot.

With calendar alerts, timestamped photographs, and email records it is hard to forget what I have remembered for ten years now. How could you forget a person you have always made a point of? The wait for midnight marking the start of one's new year is a question of timezones and hierarchical feelings: Am I first? Am I too first? Have I misremembered this time? What time is it where he is? Where is he now? Will I be unwelcomed or warmly received?

He writes thanks for always remembering.

I do not write back but I do not delete the message. It is a souvenir to remind me of how I have remembered. I want to remember how long it has been that I have not forgotten. Even if I cannot remember when it was that we saw each other last. Even if I cannot remember most of what happened that pushed us apart. Some forms of care crystallize into appreciation; the facets cut are from time and not by design. Form follows function and the view inside the crystal is obscured. We don't want to look inside and see what happened, we just want to hold a thing of beauty and call it remarkable.

There is a kind of appreciation that deepens without causation which we might call fortune or luck. The serendipity that two lines crossed once, twice, repeatedly does not predict that they will cross again, but the previous intersections and lack of discernible patterning is the small awe and marvel of the very fact of two overlapping existences. What are the chances. Who would have thought. And when two lines go on forever we do not pause to consider whether they have endpoints. We do not hesitate to call them two rays that will burn out and not fade away.