The Tequila Moon

Submitted into Contest #140 in response to: Write a story inspired by a memory of yours.... view prompt


Fiction Friendship Sad

With a glass of tequila in my hand, and a bottle on the table, I rocked back and forth on the back legs of my chair. I was nursing a blue mood as I sat in darkness at the big bay window of the upstairs front room, listening to Dexter’s ‘Round Midnight while looking out over the old village and into a clear, cool night.

The antiquated street lights of the old village were supplemented by a full moon that could be seen high over the darkened hills that sheltered this sleeping little town. Only the church spire attempted to converse on a lunar level, as the moon's glow highlighted its angular structures, along with the rooftops of the rows of old sandstone buildings that were set out in a perfect grid around it.

I saw no one and nothing pass before my haughty viewpoint, and heard only the occasional vehicle rumble into the night. Every now and then I'd drift off with, and from the music, thinking of someone that I hadn’t seen for a long time, a lost friend from a lost and almost forgotten time, or someone I’ve always known, but haven’t seen for a while. I'd try to relive, or at least remember, my last encounter with each friend or lover, and imagine where they might be at that very moment, and I’d wonder how it would be between us should we meet again somewhere tomorrow.

Some of these encounters were difficult or impossible to recall with any clarity, so I found myself reverting to a fond or significant memory of the person. Some were memories of happy occasions and some of them were of very sad or unhappy times, filled with feelings of guilt and regret, and often still raw to my emotions. Even as I smiled at those fond memories, there was an inevitable and heartfelt sadness about them. There was, in fact, sadness surrounding each and every one.

Then an unsolicited memory of my father came into my head. It seemed such a recent and alive memory that it was hard to imagine that he was really gone. I then got to thinking of my mother. The memories of her that I hold in my head, in which her hair was greying and her mind was failing, were as distant now to me as those of her black haired beauty. I then thought of my uncles and my aunts, and then of their parents, those I could remember. I watched them walk and talk and laugh and smile. They all smiled, always. Then I pictured in my head the relatives that went before, those I'd only heard talk of, or seen in faded pictures wearing grand old Victorian dresses and suits, almost all with disapproving stares that made me think that they were looking right back at me. Longevity aside, how different our memories are to photographs. It's hard to believe that nineteenth century aunts, uncles and grandparents never smiled, especially around the ‘weans’.

If death is the curse of life, then time is its unforgiving master. Whole families, whole social networks, with all their dreams, their beliefs, their ambitions, or lack of, are wiped out by the passing of time, and then forgotten. Everything and everyone they touched and created, also soon to be forgotten and wiped out by the very same holocaust. Obliterated, as if they never really existed, to become merely the 'new' faceless ancestors from a bygone era, from ancient times: a Greek, a Roman, an Inca, a Viking, a stone age man, or an old photograph.

Our minds have a habit of filing most of our memories in the ‘recent’ folder and, preoccupied by the here and now, we just skip or wade onward through our busy little lives, until we are reeled in abruptly due to some crisis or tragic event. We are then faced with the realisation that time, and often a very long time, has actually passed us by, and that the memory is now only a vague recollection of something that has gone, permanently deleted, and irretrievable.

Even the memory itself will soon be gone and lost, along with every experience, every thought, every word, every face, every disappointment, and every excitation that we’ve already experienced, or will go on to experience in our all too brief existences.

Once this realisation actually strikes, and sinks into our ever avoiding brains, our memories will become more precious. They will become our past, our present, and our future.

With this revelation echoing in my head, I took another sip from my glass, having raised it "to all my memories”, and I strived to think then of my most fond memories, my proudest ones, my sexiest ones, and my funniest ones. However, as often as I enjoyed one memory, I was made to relive another cruel or unhappy one. I am kissing my lover for the first time, and then I'm looking upon my mother's bemused smile for the last.

Pride and shame, pleasure and pain, awe and disgust, I felt all of these emotions alternating, flashing, lingering, in a frenzy of images and voices spinning from each thought, and a dizzying cascade of sometimes intrusive and involuntary thoughts. I closed my eyes tightly in an effort to clear my brain. I caught the end of Perdido, and I became Sarah Vaughan. Eventually I sat up straight in my chair and emptied my glass. As I poured myself another, I looked out of the window at the sky and noticed that the light of a new day was already beginning to fade the falling moon. I could now hear birds singing, and a mist had descended over the still sleeping town, hiding all but the church spire, which pierced through it’s soft, glowing blanket. Tomorrow had already begun and yesterday had joined all of our other yesterdays. 

I looked out at the moon again, and stood up, a little unsteadily this time, stopping there for a moment, as Sinatra sung Brel for me. I raised my glass again having decided to make another toast, a toast to those friends, past and present, who’s very thought can make my heart smile through all the pain of living, of loving, and of losing love.

"Here's to you, wherever you may be. I love you and thank you now, while I still can!"

I laughed aloud, finished my tequila, and wondered, as I staggered toward my bed, how much of this night’s thoughts I would be able to reflect clearly on when I awake later that day.

April 05, 2022 15:27

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11:34 May 09, 2022

Wow, Dillan, I really enjoyed this! Not only did you take us on a journey through the narrator’s reflection on memories, you also gave some GORGEOUS visual descriptions! You caught me with “The antiquated street lights of the old village were supplemented by a full moon that could be seen high over the darkened hills that sheltered this sleeping little town.” I could see it perfectly! Also, I particularly loved this line - “Tomorrow had already begun and yesterday had joined all of our other yesterdays.” Very well done 👏 I hope you keep writ...


Dillan T Ajer
12:48 May 09, 2022

Thank you very much. I'm new to writing and always worried about coming over as corny. Your feedback helps, as does all.


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