hard drive

Bill found a buyer for the cabin; it should be sold by now. Dad went out there to visit one last time. He asked me to come, but I had classes. He asked me to come, but I said no. So Dad bore witness by himself.

There is no more cabin in my family. There will be no more nights of sitting out on the porch, blinded by the stars. You are the only one who saw these things with me. You are the only one who knows them, who remembers. Don’t you understand what that means? You are my memory, you are my sense of myself. You used to refer to yourself as my external hard drive. My facility with early details is unimpeachable; I can recall the sharpest bits of my childhood with ease. But I don’t trust it. I trust even less as the years go on. I hang on to everything I ever had because I am hanging on to everything I ever was.

You know me in a way no one else does. I used to find the collision of my separate worlds too jarring to repeat much. Once, Chris H. came up to see me in Franklin, and I couldn’t concentrate as I navigated our way through West Nashville. The moment was like a saber hung on the wall. I kept waiting for it to drop with me under it, no clatter, just a sickening slicing sound. Later on, I got cozy with the thought of knitting all my threads together. Introduce all my friends to one another, make sure they became friends, and my world would be an unencumbered whole and everyone would remember everyone else. Mine would truly be a shared history; no one could forget me and everyone would recall the same pieces of me. “Remember that day when,” one would say, and the others could nod and laugh. I could not be lost.

These days, I feel lost. You are not here to remind me of me.


About betterpast

Thirty-seven and counting. View all posts by betterpast

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