Those unbearable moments of someone disappearing, or worse, someone disapproving of appearing. It’s a different kind of sadness. There’s a certain detachment from whatever one is surrounded with when her body is somewhere else but still permeating every fiber of your being because moments ago you talked, laughed, missed. But if you go to sleep without her voice in your head, well, what is there to rest from when nobody echoes in the chambers of your mind? Instead, details keep you awake: the wind blowing, the rain dropping, the Imam, suddenly, calling.
Being reminded of something, to me, only occurs when you are seeing something that is not part of what you are remembering. Otherwise, one would only call into conscious what was always connected to that very object. Seeing myself in this picture, I remember the smell of caustic acetone in that room, I remember my eyes falling shut and my friend complaining about skin burning. But the more I try to forget I was there, I see a room and not much else and I am failing to remind myself of anything but what is missing.
I met Mickey Mouse in a reception hall in Paris. He was very sweet. I stared at him, waiting for his squeaky voice to speak to me, for his animal body to embrace my small human frame. But he just took me into his arms while his face appeared to freeze. And I guess I took the bait as the trap seized what’s been the mouse all along.