Last night, I dreamt that you had never been. I was existing from a space of your absence, searching the depths of my memory for your name. Not quite forgotten, but just out of reach. It would not come to me. You would not come to me. I sensed your shape. I sensed…

I carried on with this nagging: what is it? who is it? Is it?

You were there just beyond the limits of my mind. Like someone with amnesia, a memory of a memory. Knowledge of a lacking. Is this what dementia will feel like? I used to know. I did know. I sorted through all the people I know, all the people who seem similar to you, who came before. I tried out similar names in my mouth. I got close, but nothing felt right. My dream self ultimately could not answer the question. When I woke, your name spilled from my mouth, immediately, like the cough and the gasp after the fluid from the lungs. The person I had forgotten. There you were. And I clung to your name. I wrote it down, over and over. The shape of your name. Where had it gone? In losing your name I lost my reason. I lost the punctuation at the end of my sentence. Am I asking or am I telling. I cannot recall how I wanted to phrase it. I did not wake up panicked. Just…aware. Resolute. What do you think that means? How could I forget your name? How could I forget you?

But I did before, isn’t that the problem?


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