[When you’re hanging over the edge of the track for a long second, exhilaration rushing your every cell. Unforgettable, you think. Click! goes the shutter of your mind.
Then you plummet, your stomach suspended in free-fall before it hits the rails. The impact rattles and reorganizes your organs. I will never be the same, you think. Click!
Limp, your body is shuttled along in the rickety chain of cars, bumping from side to side. The drama is over. You’re bruised and tired. (No clicks, please, you think.)
Just as you round the bend, sunk and numb, the breeze paints your cheek and lifts your hair when you least expected it; a subtle newness you can only hope to remember.]
[Meanwhile, in the darkroom, the prints are being developed. You have no influence over how they’ll turn out. The negatives are rolled up for storage and packed into secret cells. You imagine them being unspooled years later, dusty with age, but true to the original — the live action. In fact, you will never see them again. Instead, you’ll get slightly, indeterminately altered documents.
Tiny triggers have been toggled in your brain; chemicals released. You will hold on to some images, silvered and framed, while others warp and burn.
Your body, one day, might tell its own story, unearthed from the labs where memory’s unassuming assistants scribble surreptitiously — things illegible to the naked eye — transfiguring you in the process.]
[You accidentally stumble upon the archives one day. A sharp piney scent and the movement of the breeze beams you back to one particular day. Through the aperture in time you fall into layers of recorded material, a side room of your internal library.
But where are the blueprints?
What seemed unforgettable may now be forgotten. What remains is different from what you thought you saved.
Vestiges of the past rise up like bubbles and break open. They contain sensory information and physical impacts; feelings you had long since forgotten, reanimated with stunning, all-consuming accuracy. Your cells bristle and stir.
Yet: the dates are smudged. A blur of faces. You can’t make out the conversation, but recognize the tenor of their voices; can’t see the ground they stand on, but know exactly where they are. Rather than recovering a flat photographic reproduction, you are flooded by an unpredictable surge of multidimensional impressions.
This uncanny x-ray of the past casts its shadow on the living, roving, present you, accounting for the broken bones and beauty spots, and all that potent dark matter hanging between the luminescence.]