Time moves in circles and swirls, overlapping and entwining within its own coils. A ribbon upon the breeze or a snake eating its own tail, time and memories can be beautiful and dreamy or fearful and poised to strike without warning.
I don't know what my first memory is. How do you know the beginning has begun when you are the main character in the story? How can you pick out a moment -- one moment -- and call it first? Some of the first things I remember is the heat of the vinyl seats on my feet in my mother's T-bird and the sound of her voice singing along with the radio, windows down, my hair flying in the breeze. But then there are those firsts that I run far from -- boogeymen, real or imagined? Dark corners and bright smiles, one as dangerous as the next. I'm too old for that ride in the T-bird to be first. I'm too small for the monsters in my closet. Their order has no bearing or landmark, and my memories free fall through my mind.
Memories are a tricky thing. They unpack themselves slowly, strangely, never fitting back into the bag quite as they should. They twist and stretch and shrink to the shape of the cracks in your heart, leaving you patched but not perfect. Leaving you whole but not full.
First memories flow through every crevice, every cranny, carving and smoothing stone, cutting new paths, new experiences, new life. They do not stop for such a strange and silly thing like order.
The first time I said goodbye or hello. The first time I saw your face or laughed with you until we cried. The first time I passed a complete stranger wearing my mother's perfume, breaking me apart with longing to be a child again. The first time I felt your hand brush across mine . First dances, first kisses, first love, first steps, first cries into the world. These are the first memories I collect. The ones I hide away, talismans to trade with the snake charmer called Time.