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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,…

the woman



I don't pretend to know more than what I witness. My eyes have seen tears, or that laugh that surfaces afterwards and it would be easy to glue everything together into one explanation. But that would be a mistake. Maybe even she does not know the whole truth.

But when she calls, I answer - if it is to march next to her, or to go buy some toilet paper. I cannot imagine my life without her and I sometimes think of writing a book about the man I might have become, wild and angry, yelling at cars in the street, a pimple on the world, a lost cause. It is too simple to say "she saved me" even if that is what it feels like. She calmed me. She loved me. She held her hand to my forehead in my darkest moments and they passed. Wife and mother and friend, my greatest critic, my greatest supporter. My heart leaps still at the sight of her.

I saw some family movies of N when she was young, maybe twelve. This is the skinny girl cracking gum that teases me still. Hands on hips, elbows out, eyebrow arched as the little arrows fly. Tiny little truths stinging my arms.

Today is the anniversary of the day we met. It was cold and dark. She smelled of narcissus, her hair a sleek curve that bounced at her shoulders. And she laughed. She laughed and laughed.








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