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Amnesia of the Future

When presented with a thought to follow, I enjoy all aspects of the creative writing process.


Of Stardust

Notes to self:

Glimpse awake to the chorus of dawn. Ornaments of ravens in a fruitful persimmon tree. Hyaluronic acid to combat bagged eyes. Researched casomorphine properties in cheese. Boated through power line towers in the marsh, a valley of tripods. Caught the sunrise firing off the corporate buildings in the city. Brunch was of pickles, liver on bread, and the cooing of caged doves. Slow danced to the needle-point scratching of a German ballad.

It is the day of the end of the world or the day after the supposed day of the end of the world that was meant to be the actual day of the end of the world. A black hole in the universe. Small as an atom or supermassive.


The bike ride into town was pleasant. No dogs trailing and nipping. I crossed a salmon skeleton on the dirt trails by the delta, dodged stinging bees.

Visited Hesper the mineralist, freckled hands, soft teeth. Says, the unmarried female travels when the fancy strikes her, talks of love, waypoints, and skymarks. I am prescribed shiva lingam, egg-shaped stone of cryptocrystalline quartz. Programmed to sever the sexual connections of fallen love after a relationship has ceased. To be placed beneath my pillow. Hesper speaks of “amnesia of the future” a workshop in sensory deprivation—returning to the womb.

We watch the birds bathe and the bees drown. Share a chamomile joint. The sky bleeds colors and the cloud patterns are high. Take our last sips to the shade of late afternoon and hush away. Valerian root for sleep.


Diary of first dream:

I am in a field of wilderness, sensory deprived. Pick eleven leaches off my feet and vomit white piles to be stared at for a blink of an hour. Awake to the cramps of an ovarian cyst.

Sit atop the porcelain. Faucet the tub, sprinkle rose water. Remove my necklace and your turquoise ring. Gurgle tea tree and touch the hanging painting of the pink women and the peacock. Iron linen shirt. Paint flowers on my earlobes. Busy myself with the numb scrubbing of cabinets. Fake business with the body to avoid business of the mind.

Unfold the picture to your voice, my red hair wind-whipped “like a russet lily in a flowerless meadow.” That evening: the third day since the full moon and the grunion run. We found ourselves rooted in the sand amidst the seeds of silver bellies, true lunationists. The water washed first through cloth . . . so cold and alive we stripped naked to orgy in the caves in the cliff with the bones of the bottle-nosed dolphins.

Four hundred and sixty-two days since you left.

Notes to self:

“What is the date on which you were born, your birth date? Before that date, did you already exist? Suppose a hen is about to lay an egg. Before she gives birth, do you think the egg is already there? Yes, of course. That means that before you were born, you already existed—inside your mother. So your so-called birthday is really your Continuation Day. To die means from something you become nothing. Do you think that we can make something a nothing? If we burn a sheet of paper, some of it will become smoke, and the smoke will rise and continue to be. That ash that is formed will become part of the soil and the sheet of paper, in his or her next life, might be a cloud and a rose at the same time. We have to be very careful to realize that this sheet of paper has never been born, and it will never die.”

Today is my continuation day: Amphetamines for proper social function. Form-fitting dress to chat up testosterone at the bar. Male 1, cherry-red face lusting at me cotton-mouthed and lisp. Male 2 frowning over fantasies. Female 4 puckered face and chimney smoking. Male 1 rolls cigarette like he’s touching a woman for the first time, burns it down.

White noise and flickering bulbs penetrating my eyelids, neurons rattle. Drink my lips red. I check out. One face turns to two and two faces to four. Sedation in fast forward. Anemic hearts, lousy romance, and cowboy junkies. A sweetheart rodeo of wool gathered dreamers. This butter-lipped fool tastes of hops, sour grass rot, cobwebs, crane flies, Mississippi muds, discarded high lives. A rancid shade of dusk. My ears ring and I vomit.

Too soon sunshined awake to the disgust of counting stray hairs atop my pillow. Dry red-eyed, wash water to my face. A spawn of gnats stickering the sink, dying or already dead.

Smoked salvia and saged the cottage. The day plays out like a song in minor. I’ve slowly cleaned out drawers in the bedroom as I come across anything unnecessary.

Notes to self:

Today Hesper will engage amnesia of the future. To make conscious what has been unconscious. To lose the old habits that keep me attached to yesterday. I resign to this slim thread of life, its thrills and fears and its distortion. What I am who I am and who I belong to. Reduce identity to hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, feeling. Get naked. Dance this mess away.

We have created an anechoic chamber of my bathroom. Clawfoot tub, halite crystals dissolved, water temperature of my blood and body. The air to water to blood. I separate from my weight in a grid of triangulated tumbled amber. My orifices muffled with tools for deprivation. Hesper disappears with the light behind the doorway to my alpha waves, 9 to 14 cycles per second. Images against the blanks of my eyelids. The theta waves, sleep spindles, 5 to 8 cycles a second. Then the delta, 1.5 to 4 cycles per second. Rapid eye movement of the sleeper’s brain.

There you are in the field I can see you now.

My dear saudade, my sweet love. A crawl just short of the heart. A man like poison oak. How is it to be sensory deprived of memory? Once you said goodbye to the places you knew, you left me.

We walk in the meadow touching flowers to our fingers to the cliff edge of the collected-bone and kelp carcassed-caves. My red hair like a russet lily in a flowerless meadow.

Below, a bodied water of memories come forth and go, rapid as panic.

Maybe we will meet in stardust. A protist, an amoeba. Lichen, in symbiosis. A caraway seed. Spontaneous life. Spontaneous death. Neither. As small as an atom or supermassive. They say, the black hole is a dying star. But from something we cannot become nothing.

I have seen everything I need to see, now away. Downwards into a wind of silence. My hair as sap-streaks on a tree-in fall into amnesia of the future.


© 2018 Tessa Buchin

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