Sense Memory

Heartbreak has a sound.

But it is muffled, faded. An echo of past laughter long gone silent, but still ringing in the long, dark corridors that you now travel alone. It whispers on the wind, reverberating deep in your mind’s eardrums, imprinting your brain with the familiar melody of love, as it was.

It has a smell. A mélange of the meals you shared, the mingling of their skin on yours. It smells like the air right after it rains, heady and suffocating, slightly stale, like things that are slowly going bad.

There is a distinctive taste, salty and melancholy, dry tracks of tears that have made their way past the parting of your lips, fusing on your tongue with the flavor of the kisses you swear you can still taste.

It paints the places you once loved with its pallor. It becomes sight slightly muddled, no longer rose colored, awash in sepias and grays. It is a hidden image, looking inside every interaction you see for the telltale signs of inevitable loss.

It’s like water on your skin, its touch cold and clammy, weighing you down. Its molecules still linger on the air around you, enveloping you again in the weight of it just when you think you have wiped yourself clean.

Much like love, heartbreak assaults all the senses, taking them over, arresting their function for their own desires. Crippling you beneath their powerful manipulation of your emotions. It is your senses in retrograde; where love once heightened them, they are now but a shell of their abilities, slave only to the memories ingrained in their very functions.

I’ve known this kind of assault far more times than I care to recall.

And yet each time, the wounds rupture anew, splitting wide open, blossoming scarlet just under the skin, mostly out of sight but still painful to the touch.

Each time, it never hurts any less.

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