Yesterday I got rid of all my old photos, my old letters and emails, my old trinkets and souvenirs. Isn’t all nostalgia false? As I scrubbed, I examined these things, things for years I had saved like treasure. I am glad I remember the truth. These were not honest records, let alone mature or expansive ones. They were poses, apologia, propaganda, wishes—separated by voids of convenient omission.
Isn’t it a terrifying thought, that one day you could lose your memories and in their place absorb from your own shoeboxes and shelves of talismans the frozen smiles of snapshots, the bias confirmation of postcards, the revisionism of letters, the tawdriness of keepsakes, and the oblivion of the unmentioned, as true? As you?
I want us to make something that will never last, that was never meant to. A winter dusting while the city sleeps. A snowflake caught in an updraft, lifted but not melted. My breath, a mist that vanishes and resurges.
I will take my shovel to the roof and form a sculpture of pure expression and snow, something beyond irony or reference or didactics, and that only a handful of people will ever see, the executives still at their desks at midnight, the janitors, the security guard taking a break from his beat to gaze down from those great heights surrounding me.
An instant can last until the instant you die, but what takes years to accomplish is brutally abbreviated by memory. I want a second in slow motion with you, the silence anticipating your laugh, the steams of our breath touching, with snowflakes fixed into this picture like a constellation.
I want to call a perfect stranger and tell him that I love you, that I am bursting to tell you so. But I will not ask for advice, I will not want to be released. I will hope the need will never leave me.
Photographers take thousands of pictures to keep just one. I want to spend a day with you, culminating in a look, a touch, a sound I will never forget, and perhaps if it is perfect, I will never see you again.