Friday, February 09, 2007

The Trapdoor

There's this trapdoor, behind which lurks something dreadful.

And anytime I see a photograph of him --
especially the beautiful one my brother took in November in Delhi, a week before the surgery. The one that's now in the living room, enlarged and framed, with a garland of sandalwood around it. The one in front of which my mother recites the Gita every evening, while smoke rises up in straight lines from the incense sticks,

or the one I took, two years ago, in a different world, in Alaska. Him with more than the normal hint of a smile on his face, hand around mom, who's bundled up looking like an Eskimo, beaming
-- this door creaks open and a shard of memory escapes, glinting for a second, and cutting deeply. A stab of sharp pain. Sudden and startling.

I wince and shudder and turn my head.

And run, run far away.

Away from that door. A trap.

He's not coming back.

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