Save or Toss

Lucinda Watson

We save what we can now because there’s so little space left. It seems like there used to be so much space in the past. Now I can hardly breathe.

Yesterday I noticed San Francisco had slipped partially into the bay. I was out for a walk, and I looked over the cliff where the city used to be, and it was like it had slipped to the side and halfway down from its pilings. People were falling out of windows into the ocean.

As I was packing up yet another box, I noticed I was no longer attached to a baby photo of myself, holding a doll that look like it had been drowned.

I went to my ex-husband‘s funeral last week and delivered the eulogy. I wrote it like a comedy show because that’s what he would’ve wanted. There were three ex-wives sitting together in the front row along with a daughter.

I realized somehow I had saved a friendship I thought I had lost.

I took an old doll that my father had given me when I was six and was sick and couldn’t go on a trip with the family and got her an entirely new outfit. The woman who made the outfit for me, told me that the doll wanted to sit in my bedroom for one year, and I was supposed to say good morning to her every morning. As soon as the doll got in my bedroom and sat on my couch, I felt anxious, and as if I was going to do something that might offend the doll.

I don’t really want to save my lack of self-esteem. It’s so old and brittle now.

They say you can buy crêpe erase on television and it will make your legs look like those of a 15-year­ old.I don’t want to save my 15-year-old girl memories.

I remember when I was supposed to be nice all the time to everyone and I don’t want to save the memories of that either.

I do want to save the memory of how my ex-husband made me feel, because no man has ever made me feel like that before or after. That was why he was so charming. He did this for every woman he was with.

At the funeral I asked everyone in the church to raise their hands if they had been in love with him and nearly the entire church congregation raised their hands before I could tell them not to.

I think my mother was right. Save up all the good memories you can.

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2 responses to “Save or Toss”

  1. Peta Sanderson Avatar
    Peta Sanderson

    Hi Lucinda,
    I’ve created a file for your writing, so I can visit it when the need arises.
    You’re in there with the likes of Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files n Lance Crayon.
    You write good.

  2. Elizabeth Delmonicob Avatar
    Elizabeth Delmonicob

    Beautifully wry and oddly familiar. My ex passed in late May, and at his funeral there was a show of hands–of old teachers who could beat his record of 52 years of teaching–two in high schools and fifty in colleges. (Four old Benedictine nuns raised hands.) He was a sweet man and a natural teacher.

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