Sentimentality

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She practiced sentimentality is her day-to-day chores; the thought of the past rested upon her shoulder like the warm breath of a lover. Sentimentality went a long way for her and held her hand throughout most of her life, training her to keep boxes of mementos and trifling knick-knacks only looked over when moving or when it was terribly thunderous past the barrier of the glass windows. It was then that she appreciated her often obsessive nature of hoarding: the interminable hours held rapt in teenage solace of diary scribblings; the fading and yellowing scraps of a life forgotten and stowed away long ago; tickets for the open air philharmonic, when she got a sunburn just above her nearly-dun breasts after obstinately refusing to douse herself in sunblock; essays on the American Revolution that were handwritten and labored over, whose factuality and and knowledge emanating from the page evaporated through the soapy air; photographs from the summer in Cannes, when she sunbathed but learned to apply a significant magnitude of sunburn retardant on her chest; a nearly folded t-shirt whose individual threads were separated after so many years of use that it looked more like the loom than its product; and so many other objects of her past that had little significance now. And her ravaging sentimentality did not end there. Sentimentality intentionally cowered in pockets of jeans and cargo pants as if sheltered from a war between the belt buckle and the button-fly. She would leave bits of life within her clothing, so that when she wore it next, she would reminisce. When putting the change from her morning coffee into her overcoat pocket, she would feel the crisp Parisian metro tickets or the cinema receipt.

Yet it was ironic that the past was the bane of her existence and what plagued her; she would rest her head at night--physically, as her mind was never at ease--and recall the moments in the past that she hated. And she would never live for the present; rather, she spent her life in the past. She vicariously relived the awkward formative years: she said now the words that she could never say then; she applied her wisdom of experience to hackneyed situations. And she never let him leave that day without saying to him, "goodbye, my love. I love you." In these vicious night-dreams that shred every remaining fiber of her deserted and drought-ridden heart, she would repeat the refrain as if they were her only words in her lexicon. And he would never leave; she would see him again; her last words would never have been the melodramatic and sarcastic command to "wash the dishes for once;" he would have returned; he would be next to her, rereading the handwritten reports on the American Revolution.





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