Dear Dionysus XXV: Perfume Flashbacks

Dear Dionysus XXV: Perfume Flashbacks

Dear Dionysus,

Memories make for strange dealings. For one, there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as an objective memory: every recollection is subjective, subject to the interpretations and moods and motives (conscious or subconscious) of the person doing the recollecting. For two, there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as a perfect memory, not even in the case of a photographic one: even if one is somehow capable of relaying later down the line every single detail just as they saw it, it’s still only as they saw it.

All of these memories are mine. That is to say, they are how I saw them, or as I remember seeing them. It’s debatable to what degree they differ from actual circumstances, but I’m doing my best to remain as objective as possible, even if that is, inevitably, subjective. It also goes without saying (and therefore must be said) that certain lifestyle choices and habits I frequently engaged in might make some of the specifics a little hazy, as I’m sure you’ve already noticed, Dionysus. I suppose it also must be pointed out that I’ve never been accused of having an under-active imagination, so there is a possibility that could have some effect on accuracy, as well. In my defense, however, there has always been a very definite line between reality and whatever goes on in my head, even if I often tried my best to erase that line.

Bedlam is a nice place to visit on occasion, Dionysus.

The reason I breached this subject is because a lot of memories have come flooding back to me as of late, things that I haven’t thought about in years or had forgotten about completely. When I started writing you, I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to accomplish or what the scope of this endeavor would be.

Although I realize now that, like any proper confession or indictment, I will have to be as thorough as possible–not only for posterity’s sake, but for penance’s as well.

And there are oh so many memories now, Dionysus. Some are absolutely hilarious, while others are almost too horrifying for words. But the words must come, Dionysus: They must come in order for me to go.

I’ve read that the human mind has an interesting defense mechanism in which it represses memories that it determines could be too detrimental to human function. My defense mechanism must be kaput, because otherwise a lot of these recollections wouldn’t be congregating in my cranium and banging against my braincase like wronged convicts demanding to be let out, even if it’s only to be led straight to the chopping block.

And these letters are the chopping block, love.

Every time I finish one of these letters, seal it up with a french kiss, and sent it your way, I feel a minor relief. Why? Because I’m giving you back the insanity, the catastrophe, the demeaning and pitiful inhumanity that you helped me give myself in the first place– one letter at a time. It may seem a futile gesture of metaphoric histrionics or empty sentimentalism to you, but I can assure you that it’s no such thing to me. To me, you were always deathly real, mate. You still are, and so is the importance and function of these letters.

Oh, I can imagine the way you must be looking at me, Dionysus! Don’t fret: The memories aren’t all bad. In fact, one came to me earlier that was rather nice.

I was in a crowd of people and somebody was wearing the exact same perfume Isadora used to wear. I don’t even know what it’s called, but I would know that smell anywhere, even a decade later. And that simple scent brought me back a decade earlier; Instantaneously I was seventeen again and thinking of the way Isadora used to fix her eyeliner in my rear view mirror and the pictures of tigers she’d draw for me and how she’d lose her bobby pins all over my truck and room for me to discover days later. I found myself reliving our entire relationship in my head until that perfume passed, and with it passed a decade: There I was again, twenty-seven years old, and the truck, the chick, and the bobby pins were all long gone.

But it was nice while it lasted, Dionysus. It seems to me that memories are one of the few things one can ever truly possess that are entirely one’s own, even if it’s sometimes the memories that do the possessing.

Maybe I’ll hold onto some of mine after all, mate. The bad ones are all yours though.

</3 Sir Rateval Hurtlinge

P.S. I still have those bobby pins and drawings of tigers in a shoebox in my closet.

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