Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things I don't remember:

I don’t remember all kinds of things. I can’t even see the places where those things are missing. I don’t remember any of the good things. I focus on the bad things like living in that hotel and hearing mom and dad scream at one another. My whole life has been bad thing after bad thing, but I’ve been happy. My parents deny the bad things, downplay them until they are no more than my dramatic overreaction to normal things. “It could be worse” they say, “You ought to be grateful for what you have” But I can’t muster any gratefulness for seeing my mom being shut into the back of the police cruiser and I can’t downplay how furious I feel when the water is turned off, but he’s still drinking beer. So, I don’t remember what its like to feel content and safe. And I don’t remember those trips to the park or how I played softball. I don’t know anything about those vacations we never took pictures of. They are just elements of stories that have disappeared for me. I do remember the prickly feeling of the foam padding on the floor when the carpet was gone. Why didn’t we have carpet, anyway? And I remember sitting in the back of the car while mom hunted for Dad inside the bar. I don’t remember the birthday parties or the happy Christmases or the sunny days at the pool. I don’t know what you intended for me, but this wasn’t it, was it?

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