The looms have fallen silent.
You couldn’t imagine the stillness of the lake behind the house with its handloom factory. Men and women often on their second jobs, second shifts. The mills worked day and night and were filled to capacity, bench against bench. The local municipality even offered electricity cheaper at off peak hours so the mills never really stopped. The steady clackety-clack of the wood frames knocking against each other in clumsy unison or a mild cacophony, depending on how you heard it. Their comforting echoes hollowed out the night making it seem smaller; more intimate. But not anymore. Polyester is cheaper. And there are machines for the things people used to do. People in this small town are not only jobless, but useless. And the looms are useless too.
I am at an age now where there are fewer and fewer things to return to. Places to revisit. Memories no longer exist as places you can take a train to. I remember my grandfather’s house. It was a haveli. It was grand and imposing, it reeked history. That house had a story in every alcove, every nail in the wall; every door hinge, each window shutter made its associations over time. Incidents, accidents, occurred and recurred and left their mark, however faint, in these timekeepers.
There is so much I remember and yet there are big patches of no recollection. This is where the mind does that thing- it makes things up and it feels legitimate so you believe this was the truth. Cognitive re-membering. Of course now you will never know. Everyone is dead. And those still alive do not want memories. They are older than I and memories only bring pain now. Pain for how things were. For what was. For what could have been. Pain for things that happened and did not. Pain.
Now I want to remember and the only ones that could help me are the ones that only want to forget.