I am a man of sentiment. Though I endeavor to be at all cost, reasonable, life is full of impossibilities which require the emotion to be steadier than logic. I have often found myself in moments where the strength of nostalgia and the power of an emotion combine for an experience far more real than the evidence-laden world I move in. It could be something as simple as the way sunlight bathes my room in the afternoon, arousing déjà vu or reminding me of a time in my adolescence. It could be a passing stranger and the smell of his or her perfume jogging my memory of a man or woman I used to love and who carried the same scent. Or it could be a song from summer six years ago, emerging in the midst of a chaotic, routine day in the city.
During these moments, I feel displaced, taken out of the reality, and briefly planted back to a past I cannot fully recall yet still recognize by the edges of its blurs. There is the sensation of my heart floating out of its hollow chamber, sinking down to my stomach, dissolving into the rest of my body, and engorging my veins with memories sometimes I never knew existed. I cannot describe how it feels but the right words always seem to hang precariously at the tip of my tongue, ready to be written or said, if only it would fall. These are not dreams because I am awake as I experience them, and I am aware of my present surroundings as I feel them. Nevertheless, they have the same fantasy-like quality which romances my emotions, stirs a poetry that I could read in my gaze, and moves my body in a way that restores vigor – or at least the semblance of it.
I am not sad when I experience these odd minutes. Nor am I happy. But I feel strangely alive, as if my own skin was no longer keeping any of me within, and I was free to indulge in ecstasy with no fear of guilt. It is this fearlessness in almost reliving a past that finds me drained when the moments of utter joy are over. You’re sent back to reality, and what you see is what you know. Things are back in place – both the right and the wrong. But a part of me is slightly changed, maybe a part thinner than a single hair altered. It breaks my heart when it’s over but I never long for it to happen again, until the next familiar scent wafts, the next song plays, or the next strike of a new day blazes across a horizon you can never quite figure out how far.