Now and Then

This memory demands work from the heart. These lines of text won’t be enough. Enough for what, I wonder. I must have been around age ten. The mid 1970s feels like a lifetime, as if one, two, or three years around the middle of that decade could’ve influenced the rest of my life. Reality, or perhaps fantasy, or a mixture of both, have shown the truth of this “as if.” My mom wanted to buy us the set of beautiful hardcovers. She was also afraid of spending so much money on them. I imagine the salesman knocked on our door one weekday afternoon, after the three of us had returned from school. My father would’ve been at the office, the office that in so many ways would increasingly dominate our lives. The idea of a salesman selling books door to door intrigues me. I can’t remember the last time I heard of that happening. Were they religious books? No, they were on science, maybe on the history of science, or so my memory suggests now. For a moment I struggle to differentiate between now and then. They’ve become one in my mind. Somehow, things feel safer that way. What feels safer, I wonder. Fear and sadness are two possibilities. I’m afraid of feeling everything that this memory brings me. I’m sad, in part, because I imagine my mom of then and my mom of now. Time doesn’t lie. Neither does my memory.

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