Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eternal Sunshine of the Islamic Mind

Asalamu Alaykom,

Watching "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," from where I sit now, made me wonder about back then.  In my past, is there someone I would be tempted to erase from my memory?  Of course there is.  I would be tempted to erase my son's father.

Every good memory that comes back to me leads to a bad memory that hurts.  Whatever makes me happy is tainted in a split second.  I would love to get rid of each link in the chain of our relationship...


There's this time from before everything went wrong.  It was the summer before 9/11.  I barely knew him.  We arranged to have a day at the amusement park.  I packed a lunch.  He drove.  When we got to the gates, the guard told us that the park was closed for a corporate event.  It was one of those moments when the unimaginative call it quits and go home.

What really charmed me was that he didn't let the day's energy drop.  He drove us to a quiet lake nearby.  We spread out the blanket and I laid out the food.  It was better than I had expected.  It was idyllic.

And then...

and then there was this little microscopic orange spider.  It was sharing the blanket with us.  A lot of men think it's macho to kill all the creatures in their path.  This man...this big boy...was full of wonder as he let the little spider crawl on him.  He marveled at this creation.  I marveled at him.  I fell in love with him as we passed the spider from his arm to mine and laughed.

There used to be a photo of the two of us from that day.  A passerby took the shot for us.  We stood up and posed.  I was wearing a purple shirt over a short, flower-print skirt.  He stood behind me with his arms encircling me and our fingers interlocked.  We were so happy.

Erase that.

Erase that "so happy".

Just keep the spider.

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