Things I must forget, and remember

I used to think I could see microbes, little critters floating in front of my eyes, invisible to everyone else. Later, I learnt that it was light, in the absence of light. A trick, a change in pressure, a flash. 

This is how I feel about many things, and people. At first, there is beauty, a sense of discovery. Later, much like the floral scent promised by a shampoo, sickly and artificial, like mouldy potatoes, like an oil spill on the kitchen counter, like an upset stomach: I wish them away. 

The other day, I was at a coffee shop, watching students go by. They all wore frowns, and the grey of exhaustion, lugging laptops and pulling their coats around themselves. I was about six hundred metres away from where I had studied. I could imagine the rooms, the student lounges that smelled of takeout food and coffee, populated by young people who set alarms and take naps. I suppose I do not like to go back to places I have studied in, I erase them almost too effectively, immediately. I tend to think of them as sites of failures, a library of unpleasant events, a reckoning in which I am diminished. I’m afraid these places mock me, maybe they enjoy scratching the black scabs I have. 

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