A root beer float.
Remember those? Cold and creamy, one of those ultimate summer treat kind of things. I can see it still: two scoops of vanilla ice cream in the mug, tendrils of vapor wafting off them in the heat. Icy cold root beer straight from the depths of the fridge, slowly added in a gentle cascade of brown liquid.
It always tasted so good. It tasted like…
And just like that, I can’t remember it any more. Gone. One second I hold a memory pure and crisp in my mind, and the next it’s vanished. Words and images breathed into the universe and then snatched away. Left grasping at the faintest echoes, like the sounds of the sea in a conch shell, and knowing it will never be enough.
Memory is what makes us who we are. A series of events, held in the mind, describing our lives in sequences. When we are robbed of them, we cease to be who we were.
I look into the mirror and I do not recognize the shell of a man who stares back at me, in his threadbare robe and brown slippers. I was him once, or he was me, or something. There was a memory. It had root beer in it somewhere. My brain is struggling. Pending failure.
Was there ice cream?
Elements: conch shell, a memory, pending failure, root beer.