There’s a scene on tv that dictates the next moment of your life.
It goes like this—from one end of the cherry-crinkled gift wrapper to the other, it parts like a heavily tissued Red Sea, to inform you in visual display, broken toys and crumpled gum and all, that the moments you thought you’d forget would remain if only to haunt the backs of your eyes. Sweet summer-lidded nostalgia.
It unwinds. And unwinds.
And perhaps fissures, leaving a trail of paper-red snow, light as dust, quickly forgotten.
Here in teenage Technicolor you see yourself tearing up the grass where you sit, happy as a clam in the newness of an awkward conversation. There is something more to the unsaid and you sense it, right in the blush of your nape, the smiles when no one looks. How else can voyage and discovery be felt if not in shared potato wedges and strawberry milkshakes? Where the restaurant light reminds you of yellow honey, if it were fuzzy, leaving your fingers cold but your secret feelings warm, unspoken. The last of it is over coffee and much has been said, far too much, and now nothing has changed and yet everything is altered.
So when she, the lady onscreen, is told her scruffed prophecy, that was when the world ceased to exist. And all that was left at that moment suspended, other than prickled skin and an ominous whack in the head, was the unwinding of a past that may as well have been, velvet gifts stolen and then forgotten. An after-birthday mess, where the cake has gone stale and the streamers and party hats and white bunny rabbits have made their way, strewn, across a room that smells like a trap. A future that smells like a car crash. A past tampered by imagination.
You already know what you’re going to do.
—The Therapist, “Fleabag”
Andrea Gerada is a writer from the Philippines. She loves candles, cats, and children's stories.
Painting by. Marianne North