Wings of Memory


The average Monarch butterfly takes three generations to migrate to Mexico. The butterfly undertakes this journey under the influence of a mysterious imperative and navigates without map, instructions, or apparent regard for physical continuity.
A Post-It note is 3×3, the right size for a reminder. Grocery lists. Things to do. You can forget about underlining “Don’t forget” across the top. The page says it for you. And yellow. Yellow is easy. Lavender or dusty rose would be pretentious, and neon is ridiculous. The weight? Nearly nothing. About the same as a pair of butterfly wings. 3×3, yellow, and nearly nothing. The perfect size, color, and weight to bring down a marriage.
“Call Liam.” It was a simple reminder, benign enough in Sherry’s hurried balloon script.
“Let me know you got there safely.” That’s what Liam had asked. Sherry was having trouble with her car. They thought it was the battery, so Liam charged the old one, and when that didn’t work, he bought her a new battery and put it in himself. Then yesterday, when she tried to leave for work, the engine didn’t even turn over. The starter just clucked at them. Liam’s heart sank, but he stuck the battery on the charger overnight.
“Let me know when you get there.”
“I’ll need to write myself a note.”
Liam felt rage and despair, twin giants rising in him. That’s it? You’re happy to sit on your ass and let me fix your problem, but it will take a note to remind you that I care, that I worry about you, that I love you? But all he said was “Please don’t.” Sherry was in a hurry; this was not a good morning to get into a fight with anyone but himself.
“No, no,” she fluttered around his desk. “I’ll find a Post-It. It’s just that when I get to work I get caught up in what everybody else wants.”
And you forget about me. You need a Post-It note to remind yourself about me.
Sherry pulled into the parking lot at 7:50. Enough time to run to her cubicle for her coffee cup and then spend a few moments reminiscing about last night’s American Idol with her friends before she turned to her computer screen. She smoothed her jacket as she sat down, felt something extra in the pocket, and was relieved when she pulled out the folded yellow sheet. She didn’t have to look at what she had written. She grabbed her cell phone and hit Quickdial 1 – Liam’s cell. No answer. She hit 2 – Home, and heard Liam’s voice. “Hi. You’ve reached Sherry and Liam. We’re not here right now, but we wish we were. Please leave a message.” Sherry hung up, thinking that perhaps Liam was running an errand.
When Sherry got home after work, the house was dark. The kitchen was clean and the dishes were put away, so the blank, yellow 3×3 square stood out on the counter.

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