Written in response to the Creative Writing Ink, Writing Prompt June 22nd,

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There is something pleasant about collecting things, I enjoy gathering and hording objects of shiny, paper small and large manner, everything. Although, most of all, more than anything, I like the things people leave behind.

You would think this odd, thinking I gather half eaten items of chewing gum, or pocket lint for example, but there are things you know nothing of, yet, and in my life, in what I have of life most of all, I treasure these things.

In the passing of time, things are off loaded, and  left, those things I want, those things are the only comforts for myself. These treasured items, discarded and dumped when the burden is too great to carry, allowing more to be fed on, until more must be discarded.

Honestly, I’ve held it off for too long I cannot withdraw it for much longer, I must tell the truth to you, for you must be the only one to listen to me. These things of which I keep and speak of, are not, exactly, solid things, they are memories of those who walk the streets of day.

I am but a man, taking the injustice of quick judgement, and carrying the burden of it onwards, wearing it as an armour and protection, so it cannot be used against me.

I find the memories when they are left on the side of the street. It is not hard to collect them, and I cannot bare to let them suffer and wither in the abandonment and lack of nourishment from little remembering, so I replay them and keep them to myself.

There are smells and sights and textures, that are not found with me in my world, experiences that I no longer or never will possess.

One, has photographs, shared with an old couple over a warm drink with the warm wafting smell of freshly made bread. The memory has memories within it. The time the couple went to Paris, and watched the birds and flags fly in a gentle breeze before the clouds turned grey and let free of the inside, as they ran in their youth laughing and screeching at each other in their excitement.

Another, was the flames of passion in a one nightstand, the mutual agreement to hold no remorse as the morning came and they departed, so it was pure pleasure and nothing more that consumed the night, along with the enjoyment of alcohol to make it easier to forget. Not even an acknowledgement of faces, just the desire to be quenched and the burning sweat.

Christmas dinners with families, roasted meals and spices. The smell of sap and pine from the freshly cut tree, embellished in ornaments place carefully on the needles. Ginger bread cooking, bloated stomachs and paper left discarded on the floor as the children play with the contents.

The feeling of pride as awards are given, and cherished, the cool metal as it steams up on sweaty palms. Certificates of honour, trophies of admiration. The echo of applauds in auditoriums and assemble halls.

So many, too many. The happy ones left, while the sad ones noticeably stick to the person, shading the eyes, and haunting the thoughts, as more are left and dropped behind them as the time continues to pay its toll. Each blink and footprint, leaving one behind, time collecting and eating away.

Sometimes you get the ones forcefully forgotten. Head injuries inflicted through violence, hurting another’s feelings, guilt pushed so far down it falls away. These are never the nicest, but must be collected as well.

Tears  shed over a break up, ones seeming so important and central to everything, and then put into comparison to everything else, the seas of tears from victims, mourners, widows, orphans, to trigger the cascading wave of pity tears, self sympathy for being so selfish.

Screaming and shouting words of violence and rudeness, incomprehensible vocabulary to insult and hurt, slipped out through the carelessness of drinking. The regret in the morning, the guilt and self hatred. The feelings lost in the many repeated circumstances.

I, have not been truthful still, for I am too lonely to say. I am no mere mortal, although man. I do not walk the surface as other do, I echo it, deep below, burning in the heat. I sinned and I payed it, payed it many times over, and now I stay, requiring the task to collect the memories of the world. To survive this half life by feeding off them. To be immortal, I feast on the thoughts left behind, and walk the opposite surface after paying my dues.

I need them. I must have them. It is my only chance to walk the reflection. I must experience humanity all over again, after loosing my nature after centuries and infinities of torture that I have ordealed. To become a better man, I must do this. I must. I must eat the memories. Forgive me, forgive my sins. Too many are unbearable. Too many humans are cruel and horrible creatures: a stain to all that is good. How can I become better in the next life? How can this withered tortured soul heal?

How? How? How?