Four years ago, I wrote an essay based on other people’s memories. Months later, I watched rain ravage oak trees and send green leaves to an early death on the soaked lawn. I thought back to the essay then, and much, much further back, to my childhood, only to come up empty-handed as usual. (Not entirely empty-handed. Death in one hand, fire in the other.) Like a pebble to the windshield, that thunderstorm started a tiny crack that would grow pretty big, kind of menacing, but ultimately necessary. So that’s good.
Now, four years later, I have put it together into a book. A book that started so short – an essay, some rain, oak leaves – now contains the story of how I lost my childhood memory and how I tried to find it again.
Today marks another beginning. I’ll borrow the beginning of the book to properly begin this blog…
The doorbell chimes.
Shouts: No! No! My mother’s voice.
I peer at the men coming in. A priest. A policeman. A neighbor.