And of course, what I remember are the things I can't take back. How, as a petulant teenager, I would tell her to stop chewing so loud. And other things that shame me and more than I care to write about. And then the helplessness that I am starting to lose hold of the threads that bind my memory to the sound of her voice. What did a sentence sound like? How would she ask me a question? Did she always call me by my middle name?
And once, on a whim, I went to a psychic and she told me not to wait around for love anytime soon but that a move may be in my future. And then she asked if there was anything else I wanted to ask about and I paused and then I said, maybe this one thing. It's not important but I carry it around with me at all times; it hangs here, suspended. And when I do something callous or foolish, I reach inside my chest, right below my sternum and I tug on it until it can be seen, point to it and say, hey, blame this thing.
I can't remember everything that came next, but it had something to do with doorways and a man with a black dog and I'm a loved child.I'm a loved child. And somehow this punctures the thing then and there inside the close room and I feel release. I had thought its pendulous weight corporal, but it was made of something different.
That night I dream of a man with my ears. His back to a darkening sky, in front of a house I've never visited. He is, as always, caught leaning on his Ford. He whistles and a black dog shakes off the road dust and trots toward him, tail wagging. The motion of his head says, she's inside;go home.