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secret windows (don't look back)

I found myself in a conversation with an old friend, about the crossroads of writing, nostalgia and memory. "Distance and perspective are the upside." I said. "The slippery slope is romanticizing and being nostalgic. Well, that's the memory trap no matter who you are."
"It's funny... I spent most of my life thinking that I had a rather dull adolescence, and it's only recently that I've discovered that these stories are a lot more interesting than I gave them credit." My friend replied. I admitted that I gravitate towards stories that are based on a mistake, a lie - thinking you had some great childhood, when actually it was a shitshow, and you fantasized about being adopted but sort of blocked that out.  


The question wobbled around inside my head for a few days. Was I too fast to judge nostalgia, to quick to brush aside its sweetness, stepping over it towards something invariably darker and sadder?  On Sunday, I was walking on Kutuzovsky,…

A peaceful song

E asks me to help her with some English homework. There will be a Christmas play, and she is singing Silent Night in it. I am working late, and am half-listening to her. She starts off fine, but then repeats part of the melody and veers off course.

All at once, I put the work aside for the day and find the chords to play. I pull out the orange Gretsch and we go at it. She is smiling now, eyes looking right into me.
"Do you want to sing it with me?" She asks.
I nod.
We go again, and she is laughing.
"What?" I ask.
"I was just thinking we should make a movie about us singing together and you could put it as your Monday story." She explains.
"That sounds like something." I answer.

We play it again, and N comes home.
She sits at the kitchen table, and we play it one more time for her to hear.
E skips around the kitchen afterwards, then into the hallway as she disappears.
"Is it very Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg?" I ask her after a moment.
"Just enough.' She says, patting my knee. "Just enough."




Comments

liv said…
That was the BEST Christmas present EVER!!!!

What fun! Thank you so much and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of you!

bette wanderman said…
You are killing me gently of course with the amazingly beautiful performance. Looking forward to twinkle twinkle.
Suzette Sommer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzette Sommer said…
You two put tears in my eyes.

So much love.

Hugs.

Suzette

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