#21

1

[21]

You locked away a lot of things in those drawers and then lost the keys and then forgot what you locked away. You had a terrible memory and you knew this. Every time you wanted to remember something you took a photograph. A few times, at the beginning of this habit, you forgot where you left your camera, which lead you to forget everything else. After you missed appointments, birthdays, and romantic dates (receiving angry phone calls, losing friendships, and chances of being loved) enough to the point of frustration, you kept your camera hung around your neck. You slept with your camera around your neck, you ate while it hung below the table and before you bathed you wrapped it in a plastic bag like you were told to do with the cast around your broken arm when you were small (you sometimes forgot the plastic bag and had to buy new cameras with wet hair). You hung your photographs on your bedroom walls, like this you were able to keep up, be on time and keep your friends from shouting insulting words through the telephone wire.

In your spare time you liked to look through old photographs you took and had a profound feeling to do something meaningful with them. When we were not around you started leaving your photographs in our empty spaces. We would come home and see the trivial picture, not knowing what you wanted us to do about it. We didn’t say anything and when you didn’t ask we pretended not to have seen them. It’s not like they were beautiful photographs. They were just your daily mental notes and we had no use for them- for us they had no purpose.

Your photographs disappeared from our rooms and we didn’t think you noticed. We noticed you didn’t have a lot to say anymore. We noticed you stopped wearing your camera around your neck like you were waiting for a hanging. We noticed you were late and then realized you weren’t going to show. You didn’t answer the telephone.

When we found you in your room your photographs were gone and the only one that remained was of your parents, framed and on your dresser below your mirror.

You were lying on the floor and pretended not to hear us whispering until we asked what you were doing. “Forgetting,” you said, and you closed your eyes.

We closed the door.

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