Friday, May 28, 2010

Sister, memorious

Years later I told my sister that dog story, for a laugh. She looked curiously at me, and said it never happened. Surprising. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but consider her word over mine. She remembered every moment, like a file indexed in an office shelf. She double checked the files, came up blank, and denied this recollection lucid as the city on a clear day from my office window.
My sister’s mind is a storage of memories. Mine is like the fossil record, missing whole sections in blurs and composites.
She has written in her diary innumerable events. The breakfast meal, the prices for a sprinkler, the brand our dog ate, the times our mother went to the bathroom, the murder of two women in the news that day, the current date and what happened on a similar date four hundred years ago (something Queen Elizabeth was eating, an evening with Raleigh, a war), and she’d tell me some of these things that she vomited on the pages in the most inscrutable chicken scratches anyone has ever read. One composition notebook every three weeks. Thousands went by. And she still keeps them stacked in her condo house in California. I asked her if she reread them, like a scholar rereads the pages of a thousand volume novel. But no, she remembered every page.
Now she rents a room in a condo complex with a very sad looking woman. The place is fully carpeted a filthy blue, the kind which easily stains and stinks with the smallest effort. They looked over the reservoir, which is very pretty at night, a shade of green against the dock boats, and the three story library just around the corner. But how did these two ever meet? The girl named Amora, what a terrible name, she looked like a former drug addict. Kind of diminutive, droopy eyed, with baggy pants and a look to her red swollen eyes that say “I don’t give a fuck.” She cackled a few major octaves over her normal monotone voice. My sister tells me she was in a group home for troubled teen girls, smokes pot regularly, and dates every few months the same girl who at the end of every cycle screams and screams and acts like a nutcase. Amora is 27, four years older than my sibling, but might look 18 for the rest of her life.

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