you wouldn’t understand.
or perhaps you would, i don’t know and since we’re not sitting in front of each other, sipping coffee on a monday morning with the sun breaking through the coastal clouds and picking out a fence here, the corner of a garage there, glinting off of a car window or warming the back of a dachshund snuffling in the grass, i’ll probably not know whether or not you’d understand why i continue to mine my past for any little shard of memory i might be able to unearth and bring up to the sunlight so i can understand what got me here today.
it’s not like i can call brother _____ or sister _____; there are no aunts, uncles, or cousins, and by then you begin to reach the outer limits of relatives who might actually have the same memory of events that you do–clouded as it would be by their own remote lives, none of which you’ve shared.
there are friends, a few, but their history is as fictitious as mine. why not just make it up as you go along, you might ask and i’d say, “i have–to some extent–the physical details may be true, but the motivations are obscured by time and my own narcissism.”
so, what’s left? photographs of me alone in front of things (“life events” they’re called in life-coach-speak, which as a cottage industry in this century has me completely baffled,) and the vague unease that accompanies the truth. i’ll plumb them for what they’re worth — not much or an awful lot — and then i’ll toss them back into the brown cardboard box that sits on the top shelf of my closet for future generations to contemplate.