our own private cinema

Some days I don't feel like I can write. It's all glued up.

Baudelaire wrote "dormir, dormir, dormir plutot que vivre", but I am no poet. This line used to offer me some consolation. I want to sleep in order to dream. Sleep in order to screen the memories I don't have of you, the stories I've never been told. A movie screen flickers above my head, but I'm awake. I must invent what I don't have; it's not easy. It's a fool's chore.

I'm dreaming of the time you didn't tell me about some incidental childhood detail that somehow manages to encapsulate a whole sliver of your present way of being.

A long train ride is needed for 40 years of telling, especially since some moments in my life seem to last years in themselves. Other memories have disappeared, unaccounted for in narrative. You stop talking, squeeze my hand and turn to look out the window when that kind of lost memory flits by, loose in the wind or stuck to a post. You can watch it go by and I can witness your watching. That would be enough.

But how would I know? I'm just a fool wakefully dreaming in writing, trying to crank out a screen play of memories left untold. All of it is impotent and hollow. You have more sad memories than if you'd lived a thousand years. I'm suffering from reminiscences. The only real thing between us is literature. I can't invent our private cinema on my own. Foolish dreamer, you can't write in the place of the other.