Looking back

Tonight is another Friday night and we’re walking to a new Starbucks we found in Old Town, Alexandria. For the first time we’re walking past unfamiliar roads. Yet these unfamiliar roads remind us of familiar places. They remind us of our trip to Istanbul and Belgium. They remind us of Tehran. A bus drives by and she tells me she misses riding one. At 7 p.m. we reach Starbucks, our savior. We cross the road and go in. There is a short line and I stand in front, searching the menu. This time I don’t know what to get. Normally I get a White Chocolate Mocha, a frappuccino, a hot chocolate, an Earl Grey tea, or a latte. I never get coffee because it tastes too bitter. So I keep looking and I still can’t decide. I finally order a hot vanilla crème and a latte for her. She wants a chocolate too, but I say no because I’m trying to cut on sweets. She buys it anyway. We sit on two couches by the window and drink in silence. We’re both looking out the window, watching cars and people. They’re blurry but we refuse to put our glasses on. “What do you know about the chemistry between two people?” She asks. I give her a blank look and then say, “Um, when people say we have a great chemistry, it means they somehow connect and have a common understanding.” She starts talking about her past again, her relationships, her job, her old colleagues and friends. She re-lives them by remembering certain memories or stories. I don’t ask. I listen to her and learn more about her. As she speaks, I think to myself. Is this her way of letting go of the past she left behind? Is this her way of rationalizing the decisions she made then? Or is this simply her way of overcoming nostalgia?
Sometimes you hold onto memories. You hold on to your past, to your mistakes and regrets. When do you let them go? Or do you?

One Comment, RSS

  1. fara February 6, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

    Maybe it’s neither her way of letting go of the past nor rationalizing the decisions did she make then. It may not even be her way of overcoming nostalgia. Maybe she simply wants to review her experiences in the past in order to find a clue for her future.

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