It is such an unnecessarily tedious cycle, sifting through my email every year, trying to figure out the right date. It has to be the right date. Anything but would be embarrassing.
Was it the 14th? Was it the 24th? Why is the next thing I remember – after those unnecessarily composed lies in the car before the floodgates opened – sipping burnt tea from chipped china at a khoka by the GT Road, fingers numb under the sun, eighth grade Urdu notes across the table?
Was eighth grade all the way back in 2014? It has to be much more recent. The tape on the glass of your cabinets can’t possibly have stuck around that long. It can’t have been too long ago; I can see myself pulling out my dusty crafts the night before an inconsequential midterm all too well, working unnecessarily hard on gluing glitter onto two Mother’s Day cards that I could only send two people by a bedside across the Blue Mosque that night pictures of anyway. Mother’s Day. Was it May the 12th then? May 13?
Was it tonight?
When exactly did the may survive’s and may pull through’s and may come back’s dissipate; no, when did the will’s morph into may’s and then burst into a well-planned will behind the glass doors of a well-traveled Van Gogh-adorned drawing room down a well-kempt street within a house that has a garden that continues to be watered unnecessarily, considering it hasn’t bloomed since? A search through my email brings up only your birthday, and the digital version of the newspaper notice shows only the same tie they plastered over every well-intentioned publication, but my unused Facebook, it tells me it was May 14, 2014. It’s funny, some posts say it was the 15th. Perhaps I’m not the only one with consequential amnesia. Perhaps we can form a support group, build our memories back piece by piece, of the nights on an empty bed with a tally counter and of Viber calls and trembling drawers and a shattered vase nobody ever got around to missing.
Maybe the entire goddamned month of May is a series of fragments nobody misses yet splinters we never extracted in fear of forgetting them instead of putting the picture back together, but I suppose we’ll stick with May 14. I’ll put it right here to come back to next year when I write another unnecessary ramble the night before another inconsequential exam. We’ve always had a knack for coming up with traditions on the way up hills that feel like mountains, you and I.