Night time, firstly. A green mowed summer lawn. A spot on the grass. The smell of it, illuminated by street lamps. More of a memory of a dream than an actual memory of being awake. The first one of these that I ever said out loud to someone, back in '94. It started there.
A copse of trees in the evening before sunset, with light falling through the branches, illuminating the fallen leaves with autumn shades of dappled light and shadow that glow in long bright swaths on the way down.
Dug in deeply in the cold country on Christmas Eve, alone in bed in my mom's room, wrapped up in her coat for a blanket, alone and cold inside of an orange kind of dark, watching a candle flame. I'm a little kid.
Outside in the front yard on that weary morning, the ground is brittle and white. Hard shoots of grass are poking up here and there, coated with layers of thin gray ice and forming dully reflective clusters of straight, narrow blades... green and dark and utterly tired.
Summer evening at dusk. Early 80's, hot and sticky in the back seat, waiting for dad. The window's rolled down and my head is leaning out and looking up at the sky, and I'm tenten years old, remembering the music from earlier that season, and attaching myself to the memory of that music, and waiting.
The dead heat of summer at grandma's house. She's napping and I'm alone in the living room with that old guitar on my lap, strumming the open strings over and over, quiet, soothing, alone, cool and dry, with the AC humming forever.
It's a persistent dream. Some scene in a 1970's gravel lot in a trailer park, during the brief time before I could make real memories, or maybe even before then. It's late evening and they're across the street in the shade of the pine trees, with the sun shining through the branches and making complicated places where there are light and dark shadows on things and on the ground. I'm kicking the dust and picking up rocks. All of it is just there to add detail to the possibilities of the memory.
An old dark place from a dream of where I belong, up in the trees. Just waiting there until it's time to finish telling some story that I don't remember ever reading or hearing. It's dark, with flickering orange illumination that comes from a fire inside and out of my head. And when the blue illumination from some kind of eternally gloaming sky insinuates it's color through the dense canopy of branches and leaves, then I know... after all of the horror, it's the apathy that comforts me.
So I remember being there, apathetic and rotting, alive and eternally terminal, dying but satisfied, in a nightmare of a place that I'm lost from, that I can only remember with the memories of dreams. More of a feeling than a place, and more of a comfortable hell than a feeling. Lost with bad directions. Lost forever with those images. Lost and satisfied, as if that were the plan all along.