I give places too much power.

And by that I mean that I store certain memories in physical locations and can recall them when I find myself revisiting. Commonly-trod ground gets overwritten often and complexly, in a tapestry of emotions’ colors overlapping like brushstrokes.

This makes for incredible site-seeing: remembering my grandmother taking me for a walk on this street corner when I was very small; it only happened the one time and I recall it clearly if for only brief repeating GIF-sized sequences at a time.

This beach is where I kissed my girlfriend. That one: my former wife, wedding ring tattoo notwithstanding. Fewer overlaps and clearer memories, relived and lived anew as time marches forward, the only direction it actually can. Given this much power, these places can seem a sort of bittersweet time machine but they’re not.

A dead friend’s former home always burning unseen a block away, red-tinged, geo-located in my mind as I take my daughter to school every day. Every fucking day. The Burger King where we waited for my son to escape his school alive. The heartbreakingly-named monument to the student murdered there directly across the street.

These places can become morbid beacons of the past, sudden and inescapable.

And so you try to overwrite this data with better memories, or at least so many that the place loses its particular color in a flurry of activity.

Another trick seems to be some level of dissociation: a prism with which to hold these feelings so that I can witness them from afar and appreciate them for existing, robbing them of their power to control me. I hope to hell this remains true.