I had a locket. Soft gold, soft enough to scratch with your fingernails, with someone's initials — I'd say they were mine, but I'm not sure that's true — engraved on the front. It hung from a delicate chain, and the tiny hinge swung to reveal two tiny photographs of my great-grandparents.I barely knew them.
If I still had that locket, I'd open it up tonight and pour this day inside. There was nothing special about it except the stillness, the quiet. My heart was calm; my thoughts were collected. Today, I listened and laughed and met new people, and thought of ways to make myself better as I rode the Brown Line back from the Merchandise Mart. I can't help but see myself approaching another crossroads; following my heart never sounded more sincere and realistic a solution as it does now. I sat on my porch tonight and wrote. The screen on my laptop glowed brighter as the sky said goodnight. I sipped a beer and my candle flickered as the cicadas waged sonic war with the soft music on my stereo.
I went for a walk, to the mailbox on Lincoln and through Welles Park. The weather broke today, and the night air was so blissfully cool and dry. The moon shone down, bouncing blue off the bleachers, and I could even see the stars through the canopy of trees if I stood still long enough. I passed my old building and thought about sitting in the courtyard for a minute. But the breeze whispering through my hair kept me moving.
Today could live with those almost-strangers; I have a feeling these memories will be as hazy by tomorrow as those relatives. Contentment like this is something I know about as well as I knew my great-grandparents. But if I still had that locket, I could look inside and just remember, knowing it meant something because I cared enough to seal it inside. Then close it back up and keep it close to my heart.