Re-memory [Flash Fiction]

Hockey was once touted as the world’s fastest game . . . I remember the old Garden on 8th Avenue between 48th Street and 49th street, I think, yes, I can see the marquee outside the front like a theater marquee, the lobby entrance with the banner reading, Hockey, the world’s fastest game, or was it sport? I think thorough bred race horses run faster than hockey players skate ; what would it mean to know this?

I went with my Dad when I was still a boy, my first hockey game when I was five. Yes, I think as little as five, which was how old I was when I went to my first Opera, Madame Butterfly? No, Tosca. I saw Tebaldi and Bergonzi . . . it was my dad who also introduced me to wine, Italian, mostly northern, almost all of them Tuscan, at least when they were red. We used to have duck a lot when I was a boy–my parents loved duck. My mother was named for Jeanne D’Arc, Jeanne Marie Therese Bernadette . . . more? You think you need more, but I’m not so certain you do, that you cannot make do with less. I have learned to love magret du canard, medium never well.

To remember I recall once having said is different than to recollect, as much as membering and collecting; to dismember and and to dis/collect–dis-collect? You do see what I am doing. Membership and collecting again; to become a member again, what is it that differs one from the other? I can remember without actively pursuing the memory (can you pursue memory in any other way but actively?); recollecting is an active way of entering memory, a trying to remember, a pursuit of memory. I have a copy of the Shelley biography, The Pursuit.

I do remember the old Garden, the hockey games coming back to me obliquely–no, not really. I remember my dad and I on the train home looking out the front window to see how the train moved through the tunnels. We lived in East Flatbush. We took the IRT from the Junction. My mom and dad are dead. All memory is re-memory. There is no memory in their fixed as it was when it was experienced, when it happened as it happened, let us go to the video recording–where’s the audio? What we do with the things we think we remember as they were when they were how they were–what? The past is not past, but then it is not completely present, is it? I am not so sure that ‘completely’ is the word I should be going for there. Re-memory. The always transmutable? transforming? transfiguring? process? act? what else do we have in  words to say what I mean at here?





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