I wake up staring at the sky. The sun must have set not too long ago and dipped the sky in several shades of eerie blue. I feel the water as it creeps into my skin. I shiver and try to peel myself off the wet sand. The waves are low and steady tonight. I squeeze the water out of my dress, but to no avail – no chance of drying off in this airless atmosphere. The palm trees are silent.
The instructions said to follow your intuition. There is no right or wrong way to go – whichever path you choose is going to be yours. It’s getting darker and the trees oddly welcome me into their midst. I have to rely on my steps in the sand and cracking leaves beneath my feet. Please don’t let there be any spiders. – Cling –
It’s a clear sound, like two glasses clinking in the far distance. That must be it. I don’t have too much time; I had only heard about this place and googled some pointers, in case I ever get here. I know… but you can never be too careful. This place only allows a maximum of three souls to be present at once. I feel my body as it still shivers, but my soul’s curiosity is far greater. So I continue.
I see the pink light in the distance growing stronger. The “cling” returns, and brings more sounds with it. A dusty “thump”, a dull “shoof”, a funny “boing”. I slowly approach the pit in the ground; it almost looks like a volcano, but more shallow. And filled with the oddest things.
“Don’t go in there”, the boy across the pit advises me strongly. He’s not older than six. The hand he just held out to stop me now points upward. I follow his glance, as a small harmonica falls through the palm tree leaves into the pit. I make my way around to him. The pit now seems deeper than at first. “This was mine”, the boy says almost apathetically, “my grandma gave it to me last week for my birthday. I forgot where I put it.”
“What is this?” I can’t recognize my own voice. I stare in amazement at the pit filled with toys, instruments, pencils, books; the big thump must’ve been the couch I see on the other side. The empty spaces are filled with glass cubes and spheres (the “cling”) – some small, others very large. Suddenly, I see a watch with a Care Bear on it (the one with the heart). “I can’t believe it. How is this even possible?” – “For what I’ve seen, it looks like things we’ve lost”, the boy explains.
I continue to ask questions – he looks like he’s been here for a while. “And what about the cubes and spheres? I didn’t know people owned cubes. Let alone lost so many.”
“ Those are memories.” He pauses as he stares into the pit. “You can’t go in there though. The things keep moving downward.”
“And then? Where do they go from there?” I wonder. “They disappear. This is like a limbo for lost things.”
In an instant, I recognize a great deal of these objects – the couch was my dad’s. We had left it outside in the driveway when we moved and it was gone the next day. Talk about losing a couch. I hold on to the edge of the pit and pick out one of the cubes. I see my first day of school. I had no memory of it at all – except for the dress I wore (it’s in all the pictures that my family kept). I see about 20 other kids walking in lines to a classroom, laughing, curious, unknowing, innocent. I had completely forgotten.
“This is like the last stop before forgetting – you get to come here if you’re chosen, relive a couple of memories and then go?” I ask him, not really sure if he has the answer. “Kind of… Or… you can choose a memory and go back, and do everything over from that point on. You won’t remember a thing about how far you’ve gotten now”.