BEST LEFT BURIED - SANDRA SEAMANS
My psychiatrist believes that a man is molded by his memories. He contends that the past will nurture a child into a responsible adult or create a monster. I asked him why a man can’t be responsible and still hide the monster in his heart. After all, the world itself doesn’t lean toward a black and white view, there’s plenty of grey lingering around the edges of life. Doc tossed me one of his superior smiles, shaking his head at my ignorance.
So we began. Sadly, my memories were nothing more than a wisp of smoke caught in an updraft. Totaled, along with my automobile. Doc believes I was on my way to church so I must have been a good man. I asked him how he knew I was going to church.
“Because there was a Bible on the seat beside you,” he said.
Funny thing is, with all the churches in town, not one minister of God came forward to claim me as a member of their congregation. I’m seeing raggedy shades grey, but not Doc.
After a few sessions with the Doc, I snagged onto a torn bit of memory. A glimpse of pink toenails swishing through cool lake water.
“Good,” says Doc. “Now concentrate on that memory, try to bring it to life.”
That night, after the session, I stretched out on the bed forcing myself to remember. I could see those blushing pink toenails gracing slender shapely toes. From those toes I imagined high arched feet sliding up into a pair of strong young legs that glided into a heavenly sweet spot residing between her perfectly tanned thighs. I could feel my imagination drowning in the girl’s sweet perfume as our bodies came together in the heat of a fine summer afternoon. My heart beat faster as the passion built, until finally, I lay exhausted and spent, the image gone.
As the months traveled by I tried to find her, slashing my way through the dark recesses of my brain, fighting to bring the girl with the delicious toenails back into my life. But the more I sliced through the darkness, the more I realized it was an impotent search for what never was.
But the Doc, he just wouldn’t give up. He pushed and prodded at my mind until I slid farther into the black chasm of my memories. My heart exploded with pleasure when I found her there, cowering deep in the darkness. I grabbed her hand, struggling to pull her out of the hell I’d cast her into. But I couldn’t. No. Not so much I couldn’t, as I felt a sudden desire not to tarnish the imagined memory with the reality I’d discovered. When the session ended I told Doc I was through. I told him it was better not to chase old memories.
Of course, Doc, being Doc, kept insisting that it wasn’t natural for a man to live without knowing who he was. But after seeing that twisted slice of what I might have been, I told Doc that there were just some things that were best left buried.
That was the last time I saw Doc. He calls now and again, wondering if my memory’s come back. I tell him no. There’s no point in telling him about the Pandora’s box he opened, because the day is fast approaching when he’ll realize the flaw in his theory.
I keep to myself these days. I go to work and pay my bills, a responsible man, living an ordinary life. But comes the night, I enter the dark confines of my imagination, savoring that fine twisted memory of blushing toenails painted with a splash of blood. I live everyday as a respectable human being waiting for that monster in me to be fully resurrected.
I do wonder though, if Doc realizes how beautiful his daughter’s toes are.
BIO: You can find Sandra’s stories scattered around the internet in places like Spinetingler, PulpPusher, and The Thrilling Detective. Her scattered thoughts about writing can be found at My Little Corner.