Carolyn Zaikowski: Things I Don't Remember

Spring '11 TOC

There are lots and lots of things from times I don't remember. Times in the past and times in the future. Sometimes I don't even remember the present. For instance, I have a little brother. Or maybe he's a nephew. I search through my mother's notebook for clues and I don't find them but I will find them later. For now, in this memory that I might not have, he's three years old. I am twenty, maybe thirty, maybe sixty—it doesn't matter. We're in a bookstore. He picks up a thick hardcover with a photograph of a brain on it, tinted orange so as to illuminate the spheres. "Do you know what that is?" I ask him, pointing to the brain. He shakes his head no. "That's a brain," I tell him. "It's inside of your head. Everybody has one." I tap his temple. He looks at me with big eyes but doesn't respond.

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