Replace a Sad Memory with a Good One

When you remember ice skating, you’ll remember skating with someone you loved on your birthday at the Staple Center in Los Angeles if that’s what you had happened to do. And it will hurt to remember this if he ended up abusing and throwing away your heart a year or so later.

It doesn’t go away, and you’re thinking, “damn, I’m going to carry around this dull, sinking feeling because of one leap of faith I made…and I liked skating!”

I’m pretty sure that’s how it would go for most people. 

Because every time someone mentions skating, I see his face and laugh as he grabs at my coat while slipping after me on the ice under the blinking, multicolored LA lights. And then I flashforward to the back of his head as he turns away from me, yelling at me to leave. “I’m tired of you,” he says.

My throat dries. Breath quivering, I decide that I dislike skating.

But have you ever had a memory become rewritten before? A miracle of the brain, that.

Plan another ice skating in San Francisco for the holidays with new sweet and considerate friends whom you met recently at your local church, and I swear the neurons click and reorient will themselves until you remember ice skating as a time when you had a soulful talk about life after death with your girlfriends at coffee before coming into the rink and actually soaring free on the ice because your friends skate faster and can keep up with you more than he could.

You won’t remember skating in LA unless you try. If someone mentions skating again, you’ll be taken to another space in time when you drank hot chocolate and admired the skyscraping Union Square tree. You’ll forget who you had ice-skated with before this. 

Skate again with someone good, someone who’s still here and loves you. And if that person leaves, skate again with someone else and at a better venue. 

Then watch your memory bank clean out its archives.

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.


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