Memento Mori

Sitting in my car in the grocery store parking lot, flicking purple bangs from my eyes while I eat discounted Easter candy and listen to The Smiths on my car radio.

I tap my combat boots with the drums and contemplate the esoteric nature of the holiday and its ancestral paganism as I open another Cadbury Creme Egg, carefully peeling away the thin colorful foil with a thumbnail covered in chipped black nail polish. Fertility or rebirth, it’s all about letting go of one season for another. Outside my car, kids skip along with parents, everyone covered in prints and bright cardigans like bouquets fresh picked from Sunday churchyards to rest on the grave of winter.

I prefer black for mourning. Skulls on my sweater, memento mori; you only get to be yourself so many days, and each second could count them down to zero. You can’t take it with you: your things, your wealth, losing the last 10 pounds, or their good opinions. Let it go and live while you’re living.

A car pulls up beside me, exhaust from a leaky muffler smells like my old Chevy, dead and gone herself some 10 years ago. Echoes fire through my synapses to other moments stollen across the years to savor some music is a crowded parking lot, pick at dark nail polish, and meditate on the ephemeral nature of being.

This self is so like the others I have been, they’re almost indistinguishable. Each age has shed to reincarnate another interpretation of the same life, the same person girl to woman. It’s a thought to smile at, the turn to the child who once was, who is still deep in my ribs, and reassure her that she’ll turn out exactly like she wants to be and not to worry about the thousand deaths in-between.

It’s probably time to head back home, but The Smiths have faded and Oingo Boingo is on. Dead Man’s Party. I’ll wait a while longer and eat another piece of Easter, releasing the dead days behind and wondering what will rise to take their place.

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