In the beginning, there was a remote possibility for future memory. Some of those memories still remain: I carried them with me well before I knew it. Some of these memories give wings to my most fanciful thoughts, others make it difficult to pull even the lightest, time-tattered duvet from my weary, half-closed eye when I reluctantly face June’s early-rising morning star. These words too are an exercise, an experiment which invites disparate and conflicting memories to dance, if only for a fleeting fragment of mostly forgotten time.
I remember my mother before I remember myself. She there, wrapped in fleece: sunlight drenches our living-room blinds. I have an idea of an other, and if I were to ascribe numerical primacy to one of those fleeting nymphs of memory, hierarchy’s heavy crown would surely come to rest upon the disproportionally large head of my own, two year old self.
The memory, a vivid image of a small living room, cascading sunlight, my mom, and me, recalls the tender moments between she and I just before the water broke and my sister screamed her way into being.
Memory stops: that moment, frozen in denim. I, clad in brand new over-alls, the kind with the metallic clasps, looking up as she, my mother, hooks the right clip into its pair.
The moment, frozen. Only words move on: a lonesome narrative beckons snapshot into moving film. Can a two year old speak broken sentence into coherence? Do I know the difference between a sentence and a statement? To this day, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter.
But I know this conversation, I know it well. When I close my eyes, I hear it; I almost accidentally summon those still spirits back to life.
“Mama, when is the baby coming?”
“Is she a me or is she a you?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
The moment dies.
And silence, for the very first and very last time, silence.