White Noise

For the longest time, it had seemed to me that recollections were like white noise - whirling randomly inside my mind, pieces of different memories rising to the surface at inopportune times and fueling the confusion within me. To the point of delirium, at first I tried desperately to make sense of memories, anxious to mold at least one into something whole, something sensible. Days and months flew by as I futilely grasped at the past that was obscured from me, until a day without these flashes came. At the end of that day, the respite my heart felt was intoxicating; I knew I would stop at nothing to maintain such a peaceful feeling.

So I vowed to leave it all behind. Day by day, I ignored the fragments that came into my mind's eye, and what was painful in the beginning slowly became nothing but a dull afterthought. Surely, if I couldn't remember who I was, I could decide who I will be.

I spent time trying different trades - three months as a hairdresser, six as a tailor, and one short, grueling week as a barista, yet none struck the resonating chord in my heart that I was looking for. Although I had given up on trying to remember my past, my heart is still as restless as before, I thought, right before walking into a light post.

Rubbing my forehead as I looked up from where I had landed on the rough pavement, I looked up at the light post I so clumsily walked into. Like any lamp pole in an urban area, this one was littered with bumper stickers and small pieces of graffiti, but strangely, one caught my eye.

You cannot lose yourself in the same place more than once, yet there is one place you can always be found.

Just like that, I knew I had to leave this city; luckily travel regulations had been greatly relaxed many years ago and so I was able to leave almost as quickly as I had the made the decision to. As I stepped out of the airport in Rome, I took in the shining sun and the breathtaking view.

Suddenly, I felt a slim pair of arms embracing me from behind and a comforting, feminine voice in my ear "Don't worry - I know who you are, but I will protect your secret at all costs." In shock, I reached down to grab the culprit's hands, but they were gone as soon as I tried, the only evidence that I didn't imagine the whole thing was a woman with shimmering red hair disappearing into the crowd.

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