Letting Go of the Flash Flood
By Z Zoccolante
There are days when memories burst through my brain like a flash flood without warning, swooping in to rewind time and wash me up on the shores of things I’ve forgotten.
They come at the strangest of times, when I’m five feet in the air on an aerial silk and. Flash flood. I’m entering our house on a Saturday afternoon over five years in the past. I can feel the sun glowing through the windows of our old apartment we used to joke was like a matchbox because you could see through the cracks in the walls.
I remember this day with elation in my chest, swimming in my belly, how the sun lit up the living room and you studying at our kitchen table. I remember this day because there was a move I’d been working on in class and it took me two months to get it right, two months to be gain the strength needed to flip my body into that upside-down butterfly ten feet in the air.
And I was elated with this notion of everything I’d been working towards. For the first time that morning I’d done the move that was a feat. But I don’t remember anything about the way you looked or what you said but I remember it was like coming home to your best friend and wanting to share your joy with them, your success. I remember that your presence was there, out of view in my memory, but the feeling remained. What’s that they say, that happiness is multiplied when shared?
I remember this elation like a flash flood through my brain, the dizzy spinning of swirling in the current of past rivers, my heart flush with endorphins and dopamine and love.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a flash flood that left me smiling instead of with tears in my eyes, but this is the day.
The memory twists into now and the cruel part of myself tells me why I wasn’t good enough back then, how I should have been better for you. But the truth is that I was exactly who I was capable of being at that time.
That is the house that has walls with stories, of our separation, of our restitution. And memories fall off like chipped wallpaper, pull a slab and the whole wall might scream.
The kind part of myself has to talk to the cruel part of myself, and tell her that she was doing the best she could. Of course it would be different if she could go back. Look at how much she knows now. Look at how much she could change with hindsight 20/20.
But this is where she makes peace with the rushing waters, where she lets them roll over her, sink her to the bottom, as she counts her heartbeats slow.
This is where she lets it go.
Her acting teacher once told her that there is no energy in the past. Another teacher told her that it causes her specifically, pain.
So this is where she lets it go. Where she turns away from the flash flood and walks in another direction, holding her heart open with both hands.