End of an Era

Header image by Bert.Kilanowski under Creative Commons 4.0.

I dreamt I was reliving my memories. Not actual memories, but ones from a life I’d lived for the purpose of the dream, as I looked through the photos on the old and long since full digital camera I held. The first memory I have a clear recollection of is living in a house full of people, seeing them leave one by one. I was around the fourth last to leave, and I remember seeing a display – where pictures of our faces were, there were blank slots bar the three people left. Maybe it was some sort of contest. I don’t remember any animosity between anybody in the house, though. After the end, I remember exploring the now empty house. I didn’t see any of those people afterwards, and it all just kind of…faded away.

The second memory is lost to time.

The third memory is of being on a large field enclosed by a fence, at a new year party with a group of family and family friends. There were tables of food and drink loosely distributed around the edge of the field. We’d all put our possessions in a set of sheds at the end of the field. One of my friends set up a firework show to go off once midnight arrived. Soon enough, that time came, and the fireworks started. It was stunning – so much so that most of us literally sprinted to the sheds to get our cameras. I couldn’t help but notice I was sprinting slower than everybody else was, despite the fact that I used to be easily able to outpace them. I felt like I was well past my peak, but at that moment I started running faster than I ever had. The burst ran out near the end but I felt like there was a lot of potential I was ignoring if I was capable of doing that. I got a photo of the fireworks, and I remember being happy I’d have something to remember the event by. We had an amazing time at the party, even if the photos didn’t capture most of it.

The fourth memory is of visiting a museum with a family member. The gift shop was very big, so we took some time to take some photos. There were some photos of them smiling for the camera though I didn’t see if there were any of me. The memory was my most recent – the camera ran out of space for more photos at the gift shop and it then went unused for a while.

The fifth is of visiting somewhere with a friend I’d long since lost contact with. She was a ghost and only appeared as a literal shadow of a figure on the photographs, but I knew it was her. I could still clearly see every pose, every facial expression accompanying them, even if others couldn’t. Even if I tried not to, I felt regretful that I could let go of a friend like that.

And that’s where it ends. Looking through the photos, many of them were unnecessary. Looking around while taking photos at the museum, accidentally snapping a close-up of a pillar, a blurred out of frame photo of fireworks, a set of photos that was clearly me trying something out with camera angle – it may be of little interest to me in the present day but at least I remember the fun I had. I couldn’t help but feel at least a little sad even as I deleted all of the out of focus photos, the blurry photos, and the photos that weren’t of anything interesting. But that way, at least I’d have room for some more memories.

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