We want to repeat the past.
I thought I was alone in this. The way we never changed our answering machine with her outgoing message on it. The way I call my house over and over again when I’m sad just to hear her voice.
Its like I’m following a rhythm. Nostalgia is a pattern you get caught up in. The need to listen to a favorite song of someone’s, or your own. You want to feel the same way over and over again. It’s why we commit things to paper and film. You’re afraid to just rely on memory. Barely living in the moment because you need to make sure that you can relive that moment again. That fear of something being lost forever. We don’t want to comprehend that.
I thought I was alone in this. Until I put myself out there in the world. Confessed my need for the past. Then I found the woman who still has the last phone message her husband left her saved on her phone. Someone else listening to the same old song over and over again. A man lightly touching one of the photographs that he too has lined up in a row. Someone else smelling the pages of a book they’ve read so many times.
We want to repeat the past. Because when I hear her voice and she tells me to “leave a message” and she’s just as alive as she ever was, I don’t blame us.