Those of you who live with your parents still know how important it is to have a place to hide your shit - your cigarettes, fancy underwear (why do you need that, Priya? I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT), and other sentimental whatevers that just wouldn't stand up to mom's inquiry - and the underwear drawer has become mine. It's where I stashed the left-over Vicodin from my oral surgery a few years ago, for example.
Yesterday I was digging through it idly, waiting for a phone call, and randomly caught up a red ribbon, tied lovingly in a bow. It had been folded delicately against the far side of the drawer, hidden under something else. I stared at it - it had obviously meant so much to me at one time, that I took so much care to keep it away from prying eyes. I know I must have held it to my nose and breathed deeply, or even kissed it, before I put it away. Maybe it had come tied around a vase of flowers, maybe it had kept a gift bag securely closed. I don't know anymore.
There are things in my lifetime which I'll never forget - certain phone calls, confessions, inside jokes...the sensation of a certain hand on the small of my back, the inner-ear pattern which is starkly unique to an individual - and there are sensations which I think will mean so much, forever, whose brand of import will fade away while I'm not even thinking about it, worrying that it's a possibility.
I find that this is a great tragedy of the human experience, that moments fraught with personal significance, seemingly permanently, will often lose that significance while we aren't looking. When I put that ribbon away - whenever that was - I know I had a deep conviction that I would never, ever forget what it meant to set eyes upon it for the first time. And now I have forgotten.
Maybe the person who gave it to me has forgotten too, and I am just a silly girl who can't throw away a piece of piercingly scarlet trash because it once was attached to something else which I have forgotten also. But I'm keeping that ribbon. I can't help it. The knot in that bow is still important, because I tied it. And it's important because I'm keeping it. Maybe it doesn't say anything about the ribbon itself anymore, but it certainly says something about me. It says that I won't give up. And I don't mind that.