Marking Territories


It is fascinating how certain people have made long-lived impressions in our memory. Like mango hair that stuck between the teeth, they remain, they linger as a constant reminder that they, at a particular time in our lives, have existed. And they are never meaning to depart. To make life harder to fathom, we realize that it will always be us who’ll remember, while some of them might have forgotten.

And sometimes, we blame our rousing senses.

That the comfort of a warm embrace we may associate with our family, or a lover left in bygone memory; that a kiss on the cheek would transport us back to branching affairs—some tender, the others regretful. That particular smells cleave us to vulnerable remembrance: the keen sniff of mud from the storm, the oaky fragrance we gather from old books, sweet odor from girls’ shampoos in fancy bottles, the waft of brewing coffee. And the smell of each cologne or perfume, we learn to affiliate to whom, even with eyes closed.

That our minds have assigned soft recollections of people to each song we hear. (This is why I personally do not fancy theme songs.) That the bell tolls in towering carillons remind us of what we were years back, strolling around the mall in crisp Sunday clothes with nothing in mind but the pure bliss of a peaceful breather. That the pulsating drum beats follow the likeness of the heartbeat, and reminds us that we are alive.

That the tongue has its wonderful avenues for remembering which taste could drive us to neglected emotions, feelings, dreams, and failures. That a piece of strawberry may be sweet for one while it’s sour for the other, depending on the incident that happened when they first took the first bite; that what’s bitter may be pleasant, according to which path people trace the taste from. Each flavor is bound by well-defined eminence.

And do I need to elaborate about those we perceive from the things we see with our eyes?

People in our lives have woven these intricate threads of memories for us—and we’ve woven ours in them. It is as if these individuals already marked their special territories in our psyche, considering the subconscious. To me, this could mean a gift and a misfortune, pulling from both ends. It is life’s little enigma. It’s a constant reminder of our practical involvement in a society, no matter how scarce.

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