The memory of places

This evening in Manhattan I stopped into a cafe with a friend from out of town, for a drink and some conversation. I had chosen this particular cafe because of fond memories of my past visits there.

At some point in the evening I found myself thinking back to my past visits to this same establishment. One by one memories started to tumble into my consciousness of other times, other friends, stretching back many years. People came to mind whom I had not thought of for a very long time.

If you’ve been living in a city for a while, it becomes a kind of memory map. There is the living city of today, of course. But there is also another, a kind of ghost city, superimposed on every location.

One location may hold the memory of where you had that terrible romantic breakup. Another might conjure the whispered essence of that long lost friend you wish you’d stayed in touch with.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of your mind is your complete memory of places. These memories can come out and haunt you at the oddest moments. You wouldn’t want it any other way.

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