I had a random memory of Mum today. I was reading outside in the sunshine and the book – I won’t tell you which one, because it’s definitely not number 3 of the insanely popular, but terribly written, erotic chick-lit series – mentioned something about a character brushing their teeth before breakfast instead of after.
The smallest, most insignificant, sentence; but immediately my head was full of pictures of my Mum brushing her teeth, and then subsequent conversations when I’d ask her why her morning routine was that way around. It seemed completely ridiculous to me. You brush your teeth to freshen your mouth, so surely eating breakfast afterwards renders the whole operation entirely pointless. Plus, everyone knows that toothpaste + orange juice is the most disgusting thing ever.
And then I tried to remember the last time that I’d actively thought about her in that way… brought up forgotten images… relayed her voice over and over in my mind, and I realised that I couldn’t remember exactly. But at the same time, the thoughts didn’t feel new. They stung because they were at the surface, but it was as if these thoughts are there all the time. I would never have thought to tell anyone that my Mum had always brushed her teeth at, quite franky, the wrong moment every day; that’s a completely useless piece of information. And yet, I’m glad that my brain has chosen to retain it.
It is these small snippets of human nature – the time someone brushes their teeth or the way they like to sleep – that make up a person. We can all make career choices or change the colour of our hair or the clothing size we fit into. It is the things we do without thinking that create impressions on other people.
So that one day, when they’re not even trying to think about you, a line from a book will bring you to life again. It’s reassuring, that.
This isn’t necessarily what I meant by regular posting, but it happened and I wanted to write about it.