Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memory Loss

Am I the guy sitting alone in Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’? She is sitting opposite, not next to me. I hear her say, ‘much water has flowed under the bridge’. I turn away from the reflection in the coffee-shop window, my tired old face, the stooping crouch, eyes avoiding the stare. She looks much better. ‘Our daughter is sixteen,’ she says. I smile, hold back a tease. It would be lost on her. Her ‘our’ includes a husband and ‘our two kids’. She would tell her husband later, ‘he tried to hit on me, he said our as if there is me and him, what a joke’.
I talk about her letter. She remembers sending one, not the contents though, ‘twenty two years back, phew, how time flies’. I should have saved it. She had written, ‘you will always be my closest mate’, or something like that. I tell her that that letter saved me, that I was on the verge of suicide then. She blurts out, ‘you read too much into it’. We laugh about her wanting me dead.
I rarely meet people these days. Isn’t it better without closure? She might enter some dream. Or has she been erased? I look at the reflection. Am I the guy sitting alone?  

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